"In all things, Love."

Truer words are not often spoken. The above quote is from Roman Emperor Augustine, c. 1500 years ago. But with the impending red-and-pink-and-hearts-and-chocolate-and-sparkly gift-dinner-and-movie holiday already almost upon us, it’s a sentiment we definitely can’t forget.

It applies to sooo many different things we encounter in life. Work, recreation, family, friends, romance. All of them are to be approached with one thing in mind: Love. If you don’t love what you’re doing, who you’re with, or how you spend your life, what’s the point? We have respectively so little time on this spinning blue rock that we can’t afford to waste time, energy–hell, or money, on things that don’t inspire feelings of love.

Lets be honest, love+happiness is something that when you find it, you can’t help but want to hold on to it. Regardless of where you got it from. People at work grateful for the impact you have on their lives, neighbors who appreciate you looking out for them, the guy you unknowingly ran into 2 or 3 times before you realized he was the love of your life, the neurotic pet who drives you crazy, the friends who are always getting you into and out of trouble. It’s all love, and it’s beautiful. Of course I’ll admit, I’ve had times when I got to a point where I couldn’t see a lot of this for what it was, got frustrated, lashed out, damaged connections, and I had to pay for it. It’s unfortunate, but it happened. But I think if at no other time, this is the time to do something about it.

So, in the spirit of the season, allow me to impart some inspiration. Below is a list of some of my absolute favorite love songs. DL them, (legally or illegally, lol, whichever makes you happy) have a listen, let them roll around in your cranium for a while, and see what you think. Some you probably know, some you may not. Kinda like a Valentine’s mix tape, from me to you. (Only I’m not talented enough to have actually made any of the songs, lol.) Enjoy.

Adele – Make You Feel My Love

John Mayer – St. Patrick’s Day

John Legend – Ordinary People

Common featuring Mary J. Blige – Come Close

Me’Shell NdegéOcello – Beautiful

Janelle Monáe – It’s Not Fair

Laura Izibor – Mmm…

Goapele – First Love

Vivian Green – What Is Love?

Chrisette Michele – If I Have My Way

Adele – Best for Last

Bob Marley featuring Lauryn Hill  – Turn Your Lights Down Low

Emily King – U & I

Lauryn Hill – Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You

Corinne Bailey Rae – Like A Star

311 – Love Song

Usher – Here I Stand

SWV – Weak

Babyface featuring Mariah Carey – Everytime I Close My Eyes

Javier – If I Never Get To Heaven

Lyfe Jennings – Must Be Nice

Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list; I’m sure there are plenty of great ones I missed, but a good start, nonetheless. Negativity, Anger, Sadness, Loneliness… all solvable situations. In this month of love and warm fuzzies, my challenge to everyone is find something in your life, whatever it is, that is not what you want it to be, and change it. Nobody who has the resources to be happy shouldn’t be, so I invite you to increase the love in your life.

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