"Mommy, do you know the story of Valentine's day?" my 9 yr old expectantly asked. " I do not." I responded, preparing myself mentally and emotionally for a full history lesson in a matter of minutes. I love that she's a history geek. After an elaborate retelling of the story of Valentine I had a bucket full of mixed emotions. Wtf?
Though the sentiment was "nice" basically he sacrificed his life for the sake of other folks' happiness and wishes to marry. Why is self-sacrificing idealized so much when it comes to examples of love? If you ever felt like you aren't loving enough, doing enough, caring enough and letting those thoughts drive how you interact with yourself and the people you care about in this world then that is a pretty good indicator that you are loving almost exclusively from your brain and this self-sacrificing love is not sustainable.
Loving from your brain is not a bad thing so let me put that to rest right now but it is at best incomplete but at worst it can actually cause burn out and negatively affect your physical and mental health if not put in proper balance. The heart has long been a symbol of love and affection in many ancient and modern cultures. Physiologically the heart is the epicenter of our circulatory system. It is a force sending nutrients, healing elements and signals through out our entire body. Without out is we are stagnant. There is no flow and our connectedness to ourselves and the world around us is severed. It is an organ who's physiology is the definition of nourishing yet it in itself requires nourishing in order to fulfill its purpose.
We often focus on heart health in the medical arena. February is Heart health month and there are a variety of campaigns geared toward heart healthy habits, lifestyles and early detection. What I don't see a lot is the focus on how to keep our emotional energy of the heart healthy and in balance. To go back to my initial point, our emotional well being is often measured by how well our relationships are with other people. Not inherently a bad thing however if there is not a proper balance in how emotionally well we are with the primary relationship which is with ourselves then all relationships will suffer at some point. Loving from our energetic heart center is vital in maintaining the health of our heart, brain and our relationships.
Here are 3 ways to avoid Love burnout, nourish our hearts and LOVE from the well of our being that doesn't require of us to sacrifice but requires us to connect to the abundant nature of our true Self.
Accept yourself: With the barrage of self-help books, improvement plans and 30 day challenges, the idea of accepting yourself is rare but it is essential to being able to truly Love yourself and Love others effortlessly. The amount of energy it takes to change yourself and attempt and fail to change other people is vast. Utilizing that energy to Accept yourself as is, in this moment and connecting to your true Self without all the layers of conditions and excuses is one of the first steps to shifting the game of how you nurture your heart elevate your Love game.
Free yourself: Other people's expectations of how you show up for them can be exhausting. Your role is not to save anyone or make sure people feel loved. All you can do is love yourself and out of that love chose to act. It may land with folks it may not. That is not your responsibility. This looks and feels different for everyone so you have to get OK with the fact that you will probably let a lot of folks down and maybe not accomplish all you want to accomplish when you choose yourself and let the chips fall where they may.
Remember your True Self: I grew up Christian so I know for me I can use the term God and not be completely triggered and turned off but I do understand that is not the case for everyone so I am aware that may be a barrier in your connection to that Force/Energy that is higher than the small self. But do it anyway. We are spiritual beings, born from an ineffable source, having a human experience through our 5 senses. The way to get relief from the frustrations of doing too much and thinking too much is by connecting with that source. Creating a ritual for yourself, whether that be prayer, meditation, yoga that guides you back to your source is key.
If you are struggling to create and stick with a ritual or need help healing your heart Schedule a Free holistic consultation and let's chat.