Our emotional health is every bit as important and vital to our overall well-being as our physical fitness. A healthy fit body is possible without emotional soundness, but a person who is physically fit and emotionally empty is still living only half a life. One without the other is like turkey and dressing: you can eat one without the other, but it’s so much more fulfilling to eat both together.
Love is all around us, in the words of a famous song. Love comes to us in all forms, from the romantic love of a happily married couple, to the love of children and grandchildren, dear friends, and even our four-legged family members. Sometimes, especially our four-legged companions, due to their unfailing ability to love us no matter what. The people in our lives mean everything to us, and we love them and are sure of their love for us, but humans have a way of being thoughtless and unthinking at times. Our friends and family can hurt our feelings, even when it is the last thing they would ever want to do. When that happens, it’s best to learn from our dogs, and just go on loving that friend or family member no matter what.
Medical studies have shown that people who live happily with another person, or even just a dog or cat, are healthier than those who live completely alone. I’ve seen it for myself, in my work as a nurse, and, as a dog lover with friends and family who also bring dogs and cats into their homes.
I spent some time years ago volunteering at a retirement home, bringing a dog, puppy, kitten, or some other animal for “pet visitation”. The look on the faces of those living within that home when that dog sat at their feet, and they stroked it, was priceless.
You cannot buy love. It is a gift given to us, and the wonderful thing about love is, the more you give away, the more you receive.
Now, go and hug somebody!