Heart of the Matter

The Heart of the Matter

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The Christmas sales weren’t even over when Valentine’s Day merchandise started to hit store shelves to herald the anticipatory joy of receiving and giving hearts, cards, candy, and flowers.

Ah yes, the season of L-O-V-E.  Engagements are made, a steady stream of St Valentine Day weddings pass through the local courthouse, and jewelry stores are filled with heart-shaped tokens of everlasting and abiding love.

Yet with all the fuss we make about love and February 14th around this time every year, what do we really know about it?  We can feel it, but how long will it be before the shine wears off and we are left with ourselves and sometimes each other. Secretly, there are far too many of us who don’t think we deserve love.  Because when all is said and done, human beings are much more likely to love others without having any true love for themselves, much less a clue as to how to achieve self-love for themselves.

I truly envy those who have found the keys to living in the forever love we all wish for in our heart of hearts.  And I’m beginning to believe that first and foremost, it’s possible because they love themselves.

Fortuitously, I came across this inspiring quote by Charlie Chaplin.  I have been unable to track the exact context in which it was made, but here is, my Valentine to you…

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!”
― Charlie Chaplin

 

Be your Valentine!

Love,

Dr. Jamie

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About the Author

Dr. Jamie Huysman

Jamie Huysman, PsyD, LCSW is Vice President of Provider Relations and Government Affairs at WellMed Medical Management, a UnitedHealth company. He has almost 30 years of medical and behavioral health experience in nonprofit and for profit corporate leadership roles in both hospital and managed care environments. He co-founded the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation that created a new level of care for caregivers around the country and received Florida' Social Worker of the Year Award for that work in 2008. Since 1992, his program, TV AftercareTM has provided millions of dollars worth of follow-up care for talk, court and reality show guests. He co-authored the acclaimed Take Your Oxygen First: Protecting Your Health & Happiness While Caring for a Loved One with Memory Loss and was featured in The 100 Mile Walk: A Father and Son on a Quest to Find the Essence of Leadership, Voices of Caregiving and Voices of Alcoholism. Dr. Huysman writes for Caregiver SOS, Florida MD and Today's Caregiver magazines and blogs on PsychologyToday.com.

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