Valentine’s Day: February 14

For children, Valentine’s Day means candy hearts, silly cards, and excitement in the air.

How different Valentine’s Day can be for us as adults. The Love Day can be a symbol that we have not yet gotten love to work for us as we would like.

Or it can be a symbol of something different, something better. We are in recovery now. We have begun the healing process. Our most painful relationships, we have learned, have assisted us on the journey to healing, even if they did little more than point out our own issues or show us what we don’t want in our life.

We have started the journey of learning to love ourselves. We have started the process of opening our heart to love, real love that flows from us, to others, and back again. Do something loving for yourself. Do something loving and fun for your friends, for your children, or for anyone you choose.

It is the Love Day. Wherever we are in our healing process, we can have as much fun with it as we choose. Whatever our circumstances, we can be grateful that our heart is opening to love.

I will open myself to the love available to me from people, the Universe, and my Higher Power today. I will allow myself to give and receive the love I want today. I am grateful that my heart is healing, that I am learning to love.

February 13

Go ahead. Don’t just think about praying. Talk to God.

Prayer: Help me come close enough to you that even a little of you will rub off on me. Teach me the power of prayer.

FEBRUARY 12: Fill Your World with Color and Beauty

Fill your life and your world with the colors, textures, scents, and objects that are beautiful to you, that have meaning to you. Remember that we are connected to our environment. The objects and the colors in our world have energy and meaning. They have an impact on us.

The more we see how connected we are, the more carefully and thoughtfully we may want to choose the items we place in our home, or our space at work, if we have a special area, because these objects and colors can reflect how we feel about ourselves and what is important to us.

Objects have energy. They have energy already in them when we obtain them, and they have the energy and meaning we attribute to them. Choose carefully the possessions you want around you, for they tell a story all day long.

Fill your world, your life, with objects that are beautiful and have special meaning to you. What articles and hues have you surrounded yourself with at home, at work? Is there a special article you want close to you, on your desk, in your locker, in your pocket? What story do these things tell about you, about what you’re going through, about your place in your journey?

Choose objects and colors that
make your heart smile.

February 11: Grief

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. . . . Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not “So there’s no God after all,” but “So this is what God’s really like. Deceive yourself no longer.”
— C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

There’s no way to prepare for deep grief, for the pain that shatters a heart and a life when a beloved leaves.

No one can coach us on it. Those who could, who knew exactly how it felt, who could describe it in detail, wouldn’t do it, would not presume to encroach on this most intimate part of our relationship with a loved one. Those who casually say, “Aren’t you over that yet?” don’t understand.

This much I will tell you about grief: If there was ever a second, or a moment, when you suspected or knew you had been betrayed at the deepest level by someone you adored, and a splintering pain began to shred your heart, turn your world grimly unbearable to the point where you would consciously choose denial and ignorance about the betrayal rather than feel this way, that is one one-millionth of what it feels like to grieve.

Grief is not an abnormal condition, nor is it something to be treated with words. It is a universe, a world, unto itself. If you are called to enter this world, there is no turning back. We are not allowed to refuse that call. Grief is like nothing else, with the possible exception of the pounding waves of the ocean. To the untrained, casual eye, each wave looks the same. It is not. No two are the same. And each one washes away the old, and washes in the new.

Gradually, almost imperceptibly, whether we believe it or not, we are being transformed.

God, take care of me those moments and hours when I cannot find the will or power to take care of myself. Transform me, if not in the twinkling of an eye, then over the slow movement of the years, into who I will become.

Letting Go of Sadness: February 10

A block to joy and love can be unresolved sadness from the past.

In the past, we told ourselves many things to deny the pain: It doesn’t hurt that much…. Maybe if I just wait, things will change.… It’s no big deal. I can get through this…. Maybe if I try to change the other person, I won’t have to change myself.

We denied that it hurt because we didn’t want to feel the pain.

Unfinished business doesn’t go away. It keeps repeating itself, until it gets our attention, until we feel it, deal with it, and heal. That’s one lesson we are learning in recovery from codependency and adult children issues.

Many of us didn’t have the tools, support, or safety we needed to acknowledge and accept pain in our past. It’s okay. We’re safe now. Slowly, carefully, we can begin to open ourselves up to our feelings. We can begin the process of feeling what we have denied so long—not to blame, not to shame, but to heal ourselves in preparation for a better life.

It’s okay to cry when we need to cry and feel the sadness many of us have stored within for so long. We can feel and release these feelings.

Grief is a cleansing process. It’s an acceptance process. It moves us from our past, into today, and into a better future—a future free of sabotaging behaviors, a future that holds more options than our past.

God, as I move through this day, let me be open to my feelings. Today, help me know that I don’t have to either force or repress the healing available to me in recovery. Help me trust that if I am open and available, the healing will happen naturally, in a manageable way.

February 9

My friend looked at all the devotees climbing a mountain on one of our trips to Tibet. They were peaceful, serene, radiant. My friend shook his head in awe. “Their whole life is a prayer,” he said.

Gratitude Focus: We can be grateful that even when we forget to pray, God doesn’t forget us.

FEBRUARY 8: Listen to Your Inner Voice

Our inner voice, that quiet guide within, will lead us along our path, will help us create our destiny, will keep us in harmony.

So much stress comes from not listening, not trusting our inner voice. So much confusion comes from trying to act before we have heard, before we are guided. So much pain comes when we deny what that voice is saying, when we try to run from it or make it go away. We wonder how we can trust ourselves. The better question is. How can we not trust ourselves?

Our rage, anger, and most bitter resentments occur when we trust others rather than ourselves. Yes, sometimes promptings come from outside ourselves. The universe is alive, magical, responsive, and will guide us on our way. But the answer must always resonate, must always ultimately come from that place within: our heart, our soul, our inner voice. Sometimes, we need to listen to others until we become impassioned enough to hear and trust ourselves.

It takes practice, the quiet practice of listening, until we learn how to hear ourselves, then interpret what we hear. It is neither wasted time nor incidental to our lives to learn to hear ourselves, to learn to tune into our hearts and souls. That’s part of the reason we’re here—part of our destiny, our mission, our purpose.

Our best work, our finest moments, our joy
happen when we’re centered, listening to and
trusting ourselves, allowing our hearts and souls
to guide us. They happen when we allow ourselves
to fully, completely, and in love, be who we are.