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It is imperative to make clear the difference between the feeling of loneliness and being alone. Being alone is a physical phenomenon. You are able to physically be alone, and be happy. Loneliness however, is an emotion that relates to your social fulfillment. You could be one in a crowd of 1,000 people, but not one of those 1,000 people can relieve that loneliness. This time of the year, masses will experience this loneliness, and it could be caused by the loss of a loved one, separation, a broken heart, etc., but the important concept to understand is that loneliness comes from within.

If you expect to relieve that lonely feeling simply by surrounding yourself with people, you can count on it for short-term satisfaction. I tell myself constantly, if I find myself in a negative mood and feeling lonely, negative circumstances are sure to follow. If I remain strong, it will not matter what goes on around me.

If someone you cherish is not around anymore, dedicate five minutes of your thoughts to them, and if there is nothing you can do about it, you must be able to push forward and reprogram life. Your mind functions just like your body. It needs nourishment from positive, motivational knowledge which may be gained from books, videos or seeking warm, enriching conversation with a likeminded person. To cope with both loneliness AND being alone, find your happiness within, with an overdose of positive thinking.

If you nourish the mind, body and soul will follow. Ask yourself this question: "What am I thinking about?" Once you have the answer, you have the ability to change it. Change your thoughts and program your mind to think about the things you would like to accomplish and the happiness you ultimately want to achieve in life. Your mind is what creates the feeling of loneliness. Kick the negative thoughts out.
"The material things" deserve an honorable mention in this piece.

There was a time that I lived on a beautiful, 50-foot boat, which came hand-in-hand with the taste of loneliness on quite a few occasions. But the amazing thing is that I've also floated around aimlessly in a canoe with the biggest grin on my face, the happiest guy in the world.

Sure, material things are nice, but they will never provide you with the happiness and fulfillment that you seek. Flowers, candy, jewelry (enough to keep Steven Singer in business for life), etc. fly off the shelves so you can show your appreciation to loved ones each and every Valentine's Day. In my experience, I've learned that women appreciate the kindness and thoughtfulness.

Remember this: if these gestures are made out of love and admiration, I commend you. If you buy your partner gifts out of obligation, your partner may end up resenting your gesture. At this point, it becomes a phony situation, and you are better off not buying anything at all. If your partner is handing out that rose, piece of candy, or bracelet just for the sake of giving it, look the person in the eye, and you will know exactly where they stand. The eyes never lie.

It is crucial to keep your relationship healthy and alive. Take note of two things: allow your partner to be their own individual, and realize you are on a two-way highway. The secret is that we all have faults and defects. It is easy to dwell on the faults, but try to program your mind to focus on the good things. I am also a firm believer that friendship is a foundation and a staple in all relationships. You are going to come across issues and bumps in the road. If you have established a friendship and you both have recognized that the greatest substance in a healthy relationship is communication, things tend to work themselves out. If you have good communication, it goes a long way. If you don't, you will eventually start moving in different directions.

Have fun, laugh, and life will reward you with beautiful experiences.

You don't always get what you want, but you always get what you attract. What you are attracting is what you are thinking.

With love this Valentine's Day,

Bernie Parent


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