Love is not heart-shaped boxes with chocolates, red balloons and Hallmark cards with a cute pun (although, you know, they could be). Love is not big companies marketing their crappy products on that one day of the year to people who buy out of guilt and obligation. And although I did give away red roses on Valentine’s Day together with Joran, it is not about the red roses either.

Love is your most effective weapon.

In a broken world filled with hatred, despair, loneliness and pain, the only real choice you have, is to respond with love; love for life, love for each other, love for every breath you take and every person dear to you. Respond with love to those who feel hurt, to those who hurt you, to your fellow humans who all experience pain of their own.

There is no good without the bad.

Nobody wants to feel pain. But you cannot ignore pain without also silencing the joy, gratitude and compassion in your life. When you ignore the negative, you ignore the positive as well, and you harden your heart.

Embracing love in its fullness can be scary. Feeling the magnitude of love, also opens you up for a magnitude of hurt. The other way around, when you do feel a magnitude of hurt, it only points out how immensely big the love is that you are capable of feeling.

And feeling immense big feelings is never, ever, something to regret.

So feel all the feelings. Feel the shattering of your heart when you loose someone you love. Feel the black hole that is your loneliness. Feel the tears well up in your eyes when you see an innocent refugee loose the country he loves.

Feel the hurt. But never act on the hurt.

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Pain is a bad guide for action.

The way to decrease pain, is to never respond with pain. The answer is to love your pain away. Smother your hurt with love; self-love, love for your loved ones and especially love for those who’s action have changed your life for the worse.

Acting on pain is the easy way out. Acting out of love, although worthwhile, is more difficult. And at first, love might even fool you into thinking that it hurts. But that is not real hurt, that is just a lack of comfort. When love hurts, it is the kind of hurt that comes from disinfecting a bleeding wound. Love heals, but it doesn’t always feel like that immediately.

People who are kind and caring aren’t the ignorant ones who never have been hurt. They are the ones who despite being hurt, actively choose to battle their pain with generosity, a smile and a positive attitude.

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So kindness isn’t a virtue, it’s an essential state of being if you want to be happy.

Every day, you make the choice whether or not to share your love.

In a world that is grey, be the person who lights up the room. In a sea of serious faces, be the one who smiles. In a world of conventions, be the one to break them. Not because you’re a rebel, not because you want to stand out, but because you genuinely want to share the kindness that is in your heart.

I hope you feel loved today. But if you don’t, I would like to challenge you to give your love away. Maybe not in roses, but perhaps in forgiveness, in a helping hand, in trying to comprehend before judging, or perhaps simply in allowing yourself to feel loved.

Because love is one of those paradoxes, that in order to experience it, you need to give it away. And that is the real secret as to why you will only cure your pain by loving with every fiber of your heart.

To give away love will enable you to feel loved, even through your tears.

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