As Valentine’s day nears, I’m reminded of the power of love. Dr. Martin Luther King expressed it well.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Take a moment and think about what he shared.

A problem grows in darkness. Shining a light – a light of love – makes it disappear. What a simple approach to solving your problems.

Have you ever thought about love that way? Love actually solves your problems. Love doesn’t create problems.

You may be saying that love hurts some times. (I fell in that trap too.)

Something I’ve learned along the way is this. If love hurts, it’s not love. The definition is mixed up. If something hurts – it’s pain, it’s fear, it’s jealousy. It’s not love. Let’s gently call it what it truly is.

So knowing that love solves our problems, how do you make that a reality? What happens when you make that choice?

Consider these examples.

Example 1 – You’re drowning in busyness

You’ve taken on too many responsibilities. You’re overwhelmed. You’re feeling anxious.

Not loving response – Your focus is on the unfairness of it. What others have done to you. Or, perhaps you blame yourself. Why can’t you say no? You keep moving farther into that problem. The more you let it grow, the bigger the problem becomes. The uneasiness in your body intensifies.

Loving response – Now, imagine you notice this uneasiness. You step back and ask yourself. What is the most loving thing I could choose for myself right now? For anyone else involved? Your focus suddenly shifts to finding a solution. You trust that you’ll be supported. You feel open and a sense of lightness comes in.

Example 2 – You’re Valentine’s Day dinner is canceled

Your partner promised to take you out for a special Valentine’s dinner. He ends up working late and cancels at the last minute.

Not loving response – You feel hurt and disappointed. You expected him to set aside this time for you. Your mind is full of stories of why he let you down. Perhaps, you want to make him feel bad too. Or, you blame yourself. What did you do to cause this to happen?

Loving response – You appreciate that nothing is certain in life. You let your partner know that it’s important for him to keep commitments. You take advantage of the dinner reservation and go by yourself. You enjoy a nice meal and meet a few new people at the restaurant.

Next time you face a problem notice the choice you’re making – a loving response or a not loving response.

I encourage you to see for yourself which one solves the problem.