Valentine's Day is here and you might be frantically thinking about how to show your loved one you care. Or perhaps you're waiting with excitement what they will do for you to surprise you. There's nothing wrong with either of those scenarios - unless you start to let your expectations influence the happiness and love you feel.
Escaping pain never works. You can try, but there will always be a time when you are left alone in the abyss of your thoughts and the pain will re-surface. Drugs, sex, alcohol.. they are perfect engines for your own escape, but eventually they will become your consistent means of running away from what is actually hurting you.
Are you happy with yourself? I hope, even if it takes you some time, or even just an early morning commute in which you end up discussing the finer side of fundamental philosophy at 08.33 on an otherwise dreary and gloomy commute from Southampton to Bristol, that your reply is an earth-shattering yes.
As the Dalai Lama shares his message of dialogue and compassion in the UK in the coming days, we might find ourselves wondering whether a compassionate outlook can really be a driving force in our political, economic and social institutions.