Sometimes our hearts can be so heavy, we need help carrying them. I am currently surrounded by people who have recently lost someone or who are battling serious illnesses. So, my immediate orbit happens to be filled with some mighty, yet heavy, hearts.

And there’s nothing like a holiday to increase the weight on our hearts. Pictures of what life — and love — should look like come crashing up against the reality of what is so. If we don’t match the pictures, we feel less than.

Even if we have a beloved, are healthy and happy, and have our Valentine’s plan locked and loaded for love, our hearts can still be poked and jabbed by the shiny photos on social media, by friends, family or even that very perfect mate.

And, if you don’t have a beloved, but are taking care of yourself with a planned “Galentine” or “Palentine” celebration, or even a quiet night alone with a movie and popcorn, you still want to pay attention to your own sweet heart.

If I feel off-kilter on a holiday like this, I love the simple act of putting my hand on my heart and repeating “I am love. I am loved.” If that doesn’t recenter me, then from that space I can ask my heart what it needs to feel fully empowered and open to giving and receiving love.

You may, though, know someone who is in pain who doesn’t have any tools to get them through this holiday. They might be able to use some extra love from you, to help pick up and deliver their hearts to a better emotional place.

This Saturday I will be joining in on a celebration of the life of my friend Adelaide who passed away at 101. Her husband passed away on Valentine’s Day nearly two decades before she left us.

For the first few years after his death I checked in on Adelaide and asked her if she wanted to do anything. She powerfully declared that she just wanted to be alone and quiet. She knew how to take care of her heart.

A few years in, I started leaving gentle missives on her doorstep, a flower, note or candy hug, an acknowledgment. She told me she appreciated it. She wasn’t one to hide her true feelings so I continued the tradition all these years.

Not everyone, though, is clear what they want or need. A gentle question can help open the door to a heavy heart:

  • Is there anything I can do to lighten the load on your heart right now?
  • Is there something you might like to do that would uplift that beautiful heart of yours?
  • Would you like help creating a new Valentine’s Day tradition?
  • Do you need support in busting a move that will make a difference for you?
  • What do you need?

I remember my dear friend, Alexandra, who happens to be Adelaide’s granddaughter, asked me that last question after my father passed away. I thought it was the most beautiful question ever uttered, and in that moment I didn’t need anything other than to be asked. The posing of the question filled my heart with light: I could carry on and move forward from there.

Sometimes the simple acknowledgment that a dear one’s heart is heavy is all it takes to lighten their load.

Do you know someone who could use some extra love this Valentine’s Day, someone who has had a particularly hard year, who is feeling lonely or who is mourning a loss?

Maybe flex your own heart muscles and pick up the phone to ask what they might wish, or drop off a tiny gift surprise. It might make both of your Valentine’s Days lighter and brighter.


  • Bridget Fonger

    Author of "Superhero of Love: Heal Your Broken Heart & Then Go Save the World," Host of the Superhero of Love Podcast

    Author of "Superhero of Love: Heal Your Broken Heart & Then Go Save the World" (Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari Press, January 2019) and co-author "The Lazy Woman's Guide to Just About Everything." Find her on HuffPo, Quora,Twitter, etc. and check out the "Superhero of Love Podcast" wherever you get your podcasts!  Bridget is the creator of Love Forward Talks and event talks can be found on YouTube on the Superhero of Love channel.