On Valentine's Day, exclude no one from your love

Whenever you feel upset, it's time to connect to that unconditional, non-judgmental love within.

The truth is that you are loved, loving and lovable. Accept your reality and extend it to all. That includes your boss, landlord, the U.S. Congress or Senate, spouse, partner, annoying relatives and all perceived problems. Write this down on a piece of paper and place it where you can see it several times a day:

I am the light of the world.

I am spirit, love and loved.

Being love I extend it to all.

Have you noticed that when you give you also receive? When we give donations to a homeless shelter, send money to Haiti, visit with a hurting friend, hold a child or give someone a smile, we are giving love. And as we give, we receive an inner appreciation in our mind and heart.

When we are kind and loving, our journey is peaceful and joyful. Since love is eternal, formless and unending, it cannot run out. You can give away all you want. It is like the magic pot of pudding in the children's story that boils over unceasingly, but instead of making a mess of things, it cleans up messes.

That daily reminder will set the belief in your mind. The ego part of your mind will not believe it, but that does not mean that it's not true. In fact, your ego mind will probably tell you the opposite and deny the reality of what you are. To learn more about the run-amok ego thoughts, check out Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose," Byron Katie's "Loving What Is" or "A Course In Miracles."

You have the power to change your beliefs and thoughts. We all have made mistakes, have millions of regrets, wonder why we didn't do something we should have or why we didn't listen and learn. Has this thinking made you happier? When you are in a hole, stop digging. Forgiveness is remembering your true identity as spirit and love. You are spirit living in a human body in a classroom called the world.

Many spiritual traditions tell us love is God or God is love. You do not have to believe in God, just believe in love. Whenever you have a loving thought, you are an extension of love, i.e. God or Creator or Yahweh or Great Spirit or Allah, and you are the creator of your life and your world. An added plus: When you are loving, you also open your creativity.

You are the light of the world. Let that piece of paper remind you daily of the limitless love that is within you and extend it. Because when you give love, by holding it in your mind, it is also yours. Exclude no one from your love — including yourself.

Sally McKirgan is a poet and artist living in Ashland.

Share what inner peace means to you — where you find it, what has worked and what is helpful for others. Send a 650-word article to innerpeace@q.com.

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