Just apt as we approach … Valentine’s Day.
Falling in love is divine. It’s boundless, bewildering, irrational, transcendent and impassioned. It awakens the soul to the best parts of our existence. Falling in love is not a restricted extravagance either. We can fall in love repeatedly, and in such a plethora of ways. We can wake up every day and decide to fall in love with each other, and with the life we have been given.
What if we took the time to fall in love with strangers? What if we made efforts to fall back in love with the people in our lives every chance we were given? What if we fell in love with places, smells, sites, sounds, faces, tastes, memories, experiences and everyday engagements of our emotions? There are so many hands you have never shaken, and names you’ve never learned. There are so many voices your ears wouldn’t recognize, and eyes you’ve never really looked into.
There are so many stories that go unheard. There are so many tears that go unseen, and healing embraces that never get the chance to perform their magic. We are faced with opportunities each day to open our hearts to every aspect of life worth falling madly in love with.
I try to fall in love every day. I pick the middle seat on the plane, to get blessed with two new friends and twice as many stories. I shake hands. I ask questions. I befriend everyone from the lady at the supermarket, to the couple laughing at my typically frantic sprint onto the train. I want to reach out every chance I can, regardless of the chances I take of being rejected or mocked. I find my soul warmed by the special ways that people laugh, or the unique pigment in their eyes when they really look into mine. People captivate me. Places, foods, art, music and stories can sweep me off my feet, and into a state of romanticism I cannot explain. I find that through all of the articles I write, the most critical piece of advice that I can give to any person is to embrace all love. We feel alone in a world filled with so many people and experiences just waiting to steal our hearts.
Disappointment and fear only gain the upper-hand when we start losing the ability to readily involve ourselves in love. That would be my most essential piece of advice, to go, my friend, and fall in love with this life.
1. Ask people the real questions. Ask about their passions, fears, hopes and dreams.
2. Introduce yourself. Be brave and vulnerable.
3. Listen to people. I mean really listen to them.
4. Help anyone you can, from strangers to your closest friends. Don’t turn away.
5. Get excited. Get excited about everything from your favorite TV show coming on to Lucky Charms being on sale at the grocery store. Rejoice in all of life’s little wins, and appreciate them for the ways they make life sweeter.
6. Visit old friends. Don’t let your friendships fade. Remember the reasons you are so thankful to have them in your life, and fight for them, like a lover would.
7. Travel to new places. Indulge yourself in the cultures. Experience everything the world has to offer, and don’t be fearful or close-minded to the opportunities set before you.
8. Put away your screens when you’re with people. If you want to spend time with someone, you should actually be there, physically and mentally.
9. Plan personal time with your friends and family.
10. Hug. Reach out your arms and wrap the people you love in them. Feel them. Embrace the connection that you have, and express that you’ll always be there to remind them of it.
11. Indulge your emotions in what you enjoy most. Scream like a crazy person at the basketball game, dance freely at the concert, and run like you never have to stop. Let go. Let yourself be charmed and delighted by your hobbies.
12. Show people your true colors.
13. Don’t try to hide who you are from anyone, and let others love you for the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, and the weak and the strong parts of who you are.
14. Express your opinions.
15. Involve your emotions in the priorities and matters of this world. You can’t fall in love with this life if you don’t care about the people in it.
16. Accept the opinions of others. Ask to hear about those opinions. Respect them. Learn from each other.
17. Wear your heart on your sleeve regardless of how terrifying it can feel to open up.
18. Appreciate the innocence of the world. Play with children and animals as readily as you can.
19. Learn from the beautiful display they have of unprecedented happiness. Fall in love with that, because it’s incredible.
20. Look into the eyes of the people you see and speak with. Show them that you are really there.
21. Take chances. Be spontaneous. Embrace the unexpected nature of love.
22. Smile. Even if some don’t smile back, others will, and you may find that the smiles shooting back at you steal your heart away.
23. Love your body. Treat it kindly and take care of it. Appreciate it for the unique vessel it is for your soul. Part of continually falling in love is being able to love yourself in your own skin.
24. Sit next to someone instead of alone. Try not to isolate yourself.
25. Be respectful, and expect it from others. Respect is a building block of mutual love.
26. Say “I love you.” Say “Thank you.” Say “I’m proud of you.”
27. Never trade opportunities for real conversation with the people who you love.
28. Exercise integrity with others. The truth is always worth falling for.
29. Say yes.
30. Give people the benefit of the doubt, even if others have let you down. Too often we avoid love because of wrongs committed by people in our pasts. Don’t let heartbreak control your ability to see the best in human beings.
31. Play games. Play outside. Have fun and let it consume you.
32. Share meals with friends and family, and also with people capable of becoming your friends and family.
33. Laugh uncontrollably whenever you want to. Laugh as much as possible. It heals the soul and unites you with others in remarkable ways.
34. Sing like a rock star. Let music move you.
35. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and bring out the best in you. The light you will inspire in each other is irreplaceable.
36. Try new foods. Try new wines. Try new flavors of ice cream. Food is a great lover.
37. Go on adventures. Anything from hiking a mountain to raiding the thrift store in the next town over can create the most amazing of discoveries.
38. Feel for others. Emphasize and have compassion. Let yourself be moved by them.
39. Dance uncontrollably. Whether you look like a superstar, or a flailing idiot like myself, let music take control of your body.
40. While you’re at it, grab a partner. We should all dance together.
41. Learn everything you can. Absorb information like a sponge. Fall in love with knowledge. Fall in love with stories. Fall in love with history. Fall in love with everything your brain is just waiting to know.
42. Follow your dreams. Go for the job you know will awaken the best parts of who you are.
43. Your passion is a lifelong romance you will always need to strive for. It can be the kind of lover that brings you joy and fulfillment with every passing day.
44. Accept yourself. Be proud. Be confident. Be strong.
45. You can fall in love with yourself every day too. You can look in the mirror and know that in your heart you are radiating love onto this world. You can carry with you the ability to achieve extraordinary greatness. You just have to be open to it, because the choice is yours.
So go, my friend, and fall in love with this life.
For more, check out my blog at SerendipityandCreativity.com