As Valentine's Day approaches, I have spent time thinking about living in "wholeness" and that we can't separate our love of life, of love interest, of child, or of work from each other. Valentine's Day is there to remind us to arrive in love, live in love, and leave in love. It starts with a love of self that we develop and send back out to our work and our lives. Love does not 'complete' us — it is our contribution to honor what we value.
Love is what we give not what we get. So many of us wait to be given the compliment, promotion, thought, random act of kindness, or help before we give. If we decide to "co-create" our lives with love — the love of what we have, what we are given, and what we give — then the all of our work/life will be filled with meaning.
The Boomerang Principle has taught us that what we send out comes back to hit us. What are you throwing out there? Do you throw out fear, hate, doubt, or mistrust? What are you receiving? The chances are it's what you sent out in the boomerang. Are you imbuing your work with love? Your coworkers? Your boss? Your customers? If not, then don't be surprised by what comes back at you, because what you give is what you receive. What we don't value can't grow or prosper. Know that someone else will be there to love what you didn't value.
Some wonder What do I have to give? If you give of your time, talent, treasure, and thoughts with love, then those who share our work/life will share with us that life is not done to us, but through us. We all "perform" our lives on a daily basis; but is it with love? Are you giving your love to your work, your friends, your family, and your community? If not, examine what you really are giving and what is it really worth. You and I are conduits for love: what goes in and what flows out. Is your tube blocked? And by what?
You can't help but wonder if a little more love would have prevented the more than 500 cases of salmonella in 43 states and Canada that had been linked to peanut butter, peanut paste, and ground roasted peanuts from the Peanut Corporation of America's plant in Blakely, Georgia. At least eight people are believed to have died from the outbreak. Kids will no longer eat this easy source of protein. The long-term effects on the peanut industry and the economic health of Georgia are staggering as a result of people not executing on the power of their love for their fellow man. Reports now show that workers knew of the concerns and looked the other way as birds flew through the factory and rain poured in. Those same workers are now unemployed. Maybe more love would have saved a business and their jobs.
If sending out assures what will come back, then there is certainly no benefit in rudeness, dishonesty, disrespect, curtness, instability, or uncaring acts. But then why do they exist?
Recall the people you have worked with who love what they do. You feel better for just meeting them. The waitress with the smile, the singing bus driver, the toll collector with the kind word, the salesperson who goes above and beyond, the teacher who takes the time to meet your child — these people are performing their work with love and you feel it. We each have lovable characteristics; what are yours? Are you fascinating, a problem-solver, calm in the storm, innovator, reliable, friendly? Whatever you are looking for in others, show it off yourself at work and at home. Give it out so you can get it back! Are you reaching out by listening, being helpful, encouraging, or championing those around you? Nothing you give is insignificant for it goes out in ripples where you may never know who it has benefited. The love and spark you share may be the only light that person sees.
Recognize the love we already get on silver platters. The state workers in California gave up a day's pay for the love of their jobs; elsewhere others are asking for overtime or taking big bonuses. No job? What are you sending out to attract that next great thing? Love breaks through difficulties. You can't value something if you don't love it. People are drawn to love like moths to a flame, for it is our inner light they see. What are you sending out as the magnet for what you want?
Your love will lift everyone you share it with. Walk through the doors and down the paths of life in love and all your days will be Valentine's Day.
I leave you in love with the gift of this poem by Emmet Fox.
Love Will Conquer
There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer;
no disease that enough love will not heal;
no door that enough love will not open;
no gulf that enough love will not bridge;
no wall that enough love will not throw down;
no sin that enough love will not redeem . . .
It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble;
how hopeless the outlook;
how muddled the tangle;
how great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.
If only you could love enough you would be the happiest and most
powerful being in the world . . .
Julie Sue Auslander, M.Ed, WPO, WBE
President / Chief Cultural Officer
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