Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tip #7: Love

As next week is Valentine's day, I decided to write about love. In my own life, this past year I have re-discovered the unbelievable power of love. The love of my husband, the love of my family, the love of my old friends, the love of my new friends (whom I met in my new journey, in my online support group, in my yoga for cancer patients class), the love of strangers in many countries praying for me. All this love carried me through in the hard times, gave me the strength I needed and provided me with an immense joy. I now know that I matter to so many people and I am extremely thankful for it.

Scientifically too, this power that I felt this year has been studied. Here's the Amazon review for Dr. Dean Ornish's book Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy:
"Ornish demonstrates that personal intimacy and other aspects of emotional well-being--all the elements that make up what we call "love"--are as important to our physical condition as to our mental health. Not only do these positive emotions motivate us to make better lifestyle choices, Ornish argues, they also have a powerful direct effect on our bodies, giving us stronger immune systems, better cardiovascular functioning, and longer life expectancies. But the benefits of opening our hearts to others go beyond curing our bodies of disease; it's also the first step toward healing our entire lives".
And, in his website, there are more resources where we can learn about the importance of creating connections, by spending more time with family and friends, listening, touching and meditating, among many things.

This week I also listened to a story on NPR that made me reflect on how love is, indeed, powerful. It is part of StoryCorps, where anyone can record another person so they can tell the story of their lives. You can hear them on the radio every Friday morning, or you can just go to their website. All the stories are preserved at the Library of Congress. I have always loved this project, and every single time I hear one of these stories I learn something, about love, about strength, about faith in humanity.

So, for all of you, here's a 3 minute story that teaches us that, if we have love, we should never give up. I hope you like it.

This week go ahead and give hugs, kisses and love. To your kids, family, friends and everyone. What you give, you'll get back, I promise, in health and in happiness.