I’m Spending Valentine’s Day 15,000kms Away From My Love. Here’s Why
I’m pretty much a big bundle of love any time of year.
I’m always up for a cuddle. But despite this, I am consciously going to be on the other side of the world from my partner this year.
It’s not that I don’t love him. It’s just that my love is so much bigger than a single relationship. This is my opportunity to share my love with others.
As of the 6th of February, I will be working with a team of nutritionists, naturopaths, doctors and nurses in Greece. We have all volunteered our time, effort and funds to head over and really make a difference.
Our mission: to offer aid and support to the thousands of refugees trapped by red tape throughout the country.
It’s not a trip that is without risk. There is chance of violence. The weather has been unbearably cold. It’s not going to be lounging around sipping cocktails or enjoying the sights.
Not only that, but it is a trip that may well break our hearts. We will be right at the coalface of the refugee situation. Some of us will be working in slums, others in camps. One team will be monitoring new arrivals for signs of illness and malnutrition.
It will be hard. Despite generous donations from companies, we will still want to give more to people. It’s not like these people will all be miraculously processed by the end of the month – they may be stuck for months or years yet.
Despite all of these factors, I believe that this trip is truly the best way to spend Valentine’s Day. To truly express my love.
What is love? To me, love is an expression of caring about another’s well-being. This isn’t just restricted to significant others and family. I believe we all have the capacity to love the whole world if we open up to it.
Do you care about the well-being of Americans under the Trump government? That’s love. Are you passionate about helping those experiencing homelessness? That’s a kind of love too. Even caring for animals in shelters is an expression of love.
The truth is, we are all connected. Whether we know it or not, we were designed to care about each other, because we are all part of something bigger.
Do you want to feel more love? You need to give more love. Giving to others opens you up to receive more love.
When was the last time you truly gave back to someone or something? Many of us give, but with an expectation of something in return. We will share something on Facebook, but with the hope of winning a prize. We will donate money more readily to a fundraising campaign that offers us a bonus.
This Valentine’s Day, I want you to show real love, with no expectations. Whatever that means to you.
Maybe you will:
• Go through your wardrobe and donate old clothes
• Volunteer with an organisation that you believe in
• Offer to walk dogs for your local shelter
• Cook a meal for someone going through a hard time
• Offer to babysit for a stressed out parent
• Spend time with someone who is lonely
• Donate to a worthy cause
Whatever you do, it will make a difference. You’ll be helping someone, and you’ll feel good – what more could you want?
The good news is, volunteering your time and effort can actually improve your well-being too. Countless research papers have shown that people who volunteer their time are more likely to experience:
• Increased levels of happiness
• Reduced BMI
• Lower cholesterol levels
• Lower inflammatory markers
• Lower risk of cardiovascular disease
• A greater sense of connection to the community
• Lower risk of depression
• Lower risk of broken bones in the older population
• Reduced mortality rate
• Greater life satisfaction overall
How can you help support the team? We are still raising funds to go towards supplies, even as we jet off. You can donate to support the refugees needing our aid at: https://gogetfunding.com/help-me-change-lives-in-greece2017/
And my partner? He doesn’t love missing out on Valentine’s Day together. But he does believe in me, and support me 100%. We will just have our own celebration when I get back home. Because love really can exist all year round.