The little town of Independence, Oregon, population 7,000, sure shows the love in February.
I live nearby and I've seen this tiny town in all kinds of weather, all kinds of moods.
On an ordinary day, it's all reader board signs and farmer's trucks.
But come Valentines season, every wrought iron street lamp is festooned with bright red and pink hearts.
"Ken loves Michelle."
"Grandma loves Rachel and Justin."
"Shawna loves Antonio."
"We love Sparky and Mittens!"
And so on.
For a small fee, anyone who wants to can buy a red heart, and the city makes sure it's posted.
Lots of love, festooned all over town!
Big, loud love, proclaimed for all!
Young love, old love, cats and dogs love!
You know... it takes guts to proclaim our love, in front of the whole world, in front of our community, even in front of each other.
We might mumble "I love you" on the phone, or say it in a distracted way as we're headed out the door, or with a sleepy goodnight kiss, tucking our child into bed.
We all love... but the proclaiming? That's where it can get sticky.
Some of us say it easily.
Some of us are shy.
Some of us find it difficult, as if our hearts might crack into pieces.
Some of us can't say it at all.
Some of us can say it and mean it, with our whole hearts open.
If you find it difficult to say "I love you" to the people in your life, practice saying it in your meditation, in your prayer, on your walks, in yoga class, in your journal, right before you fall asleep.
Start getting that steady stream of love going in your mind.
You will begin to notice a shift in how you feel.
You will begin to be able to proclaim your love, to those you love the most.
P.S. Sign up now for small group training Spring 2017!
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Sara Wiseman blogs about spirituality and intuition several days a week. Get award-winning Daily Divine delivered to your inbox, plus receive a FREE ebook!