Valentine’s Day has come and gone. The chocolate is eaten and the flowers have faded and dropped their petals. 

Life continues as everything around us turns from shades of red and pink to a vibrant green, as we anticipate the celebration of an Irish Saint. But before we move on, let’s stop and remember the essence of what Love truly is.  

Love is not a feeling. Feelings come and go – that is why we call them “e-motions.” They move.
Love is, however, a decision. It’s a verb that implies action. Here are four simple ways to remember the essence of love that lasts throughout the seasons. 

L – Looks
Love looks for ways to serve and meet needs with intentionality. Stop and notice the one you love at least two times per day. Serve them in the little moments with a thoughtful “thank you” or by bringing them coffee in the morning. 
O – Optimistic 
Love is optimistic to what is possible and what is good. Love always hopes and believes that we can make it through whatever we are facing. It’s a resolve and a mind-set to go the long-haul.
V – Vulnerability 
Love is a vulnerability, a willingness to let others in and allow them to know your needs, your hurts, your true thoughts and feelings. It doesn’t hide or keep records of wrongs, but rather shares openly and allows people in. 
E – Empathetic 
Love is empathetic and joins those who are hurting; it sees things from another’s view. Empathy leaves the comfort of “my own perspective” and sits with another person within their point-of-view; empathy might even “feel it” with them. No fixing needed here, just connection and presence. 
Maybe once in a while, bring home a flower or offer to go out for a favorite dinner. These moments do add a little icing on the cake. However, no one can survive on icing alone, so focus the majority of your efforts on the main meal ingredients which occur day in and day out of ordinary life, year round.  Small shifts over long periods of time create long-lasting change. For true LOVE never fails. 
Written by Jeff & Terra Mattson
Founders & Owners, Living Wholehearted, LLC