Tu B'Av, literally the 15th day of the month of Av, is a joyful moment in the Jewish year. It's a day of energy and love, with a special emphasis on marriage. Although it has hardly any religious rituals, it is a day known as an auspicious time for dating, engagements and weddings. What potential!
But what if the day ends and you still haven't met your soul mate? Did you miss your chance? Should you give up and wait for next year? Of course not! While there is a special energy to this day, you have an opportunity every day to draw your soul mate closer. In honor of Tu B'Av, here are 15 ways to attract love into your life.
1. Love thyself
Are we are looking for love in all the wrong places? With or without your soul mate, you will always do best when you start by loving yourself. This means acting in loving ways towards yourself. I'm not speaking about ego; I'm talking about taking loving care of yourself. Don't wait for someone else to come along and take care of you. What have you done for you lately?
2. Receive love from others
Your soul mate, whether or not you've already met, will be one of many people who love you. Today, practice receiving love from someone in your life. What will your reaction be to someone who shares random acts of love with you?
3. Sparking the flame
Every season comes with its own special gifts. The season of love is no exception. This is a great time of year to spark feelings of love in someone else with loving gestures. Like a candle flame, love won't diminish when shared; rather it will bring more love and light into the world. How will you share love today and ignite love in another?
4. Thank someone for acting with love
We are surrounded by loving people. Today, choose to see the love that surrounds you. How will you express gratitude to someone who acts lovingly towards you?
5. Make a list
Think back to moments in time where you felt loved. Who made you feel loved? How did they express their love? List 5 moments where you felt loved and write down what made you feel that way.
6. I'm loving you
"I love you" is a statement. But love is a verb! So really, we should be saying, "I'm loving you." How do we come to love another? Our love grows towards a person when we give to them. Whether it is your time, emotional support or physical help, giving to your loved ones is what builds the bond of love. What will you give today to develop and further your relationship with someone close to you?
7. Your theme song
Music can carry us to places that words cannot. Do you have a song that helps you to feel loved, safe and calm? Create a playlist of the songs which put a smile on your face and bring a loving feeling into your heart. From that list, pick one song to be your theme song. Your theme song will center you, lifting you up when you're down and keeping you anchored when you're high, so you can live and love with balance.
8. Love fearlessly
Don't base your love on being loved back. Give love without the expectation of receiving anything in return, and feel good about it! Love is unconditional. Who do you love unconditionally? Why?
9. It just takes toothpaste
Did you know that you can shine silver with toothpaste? You don't need fancy silver polishes to make your finest pieces shine. Simple, ordinary toothpaste: we all have it and we all use it for its normal purpose. But it can make more than just our teeth sparkle! Like toothpaste, we all have surprising versatility. Come up with one way to use your love that is different from what you've done in the past. Notice how this part of your life starts to shine.
10. A hot glue gun
A hot glue gun can fix many things. Heat + glue = connection. But what if you're looking to connect emotionally? Then the equation looks more like: loving words + hearts = connection. It is a Jewish concept that words from the heart enter the heart. Whose heart will you strike today with loving words?
11. How do I love thee?
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." Think of someone you love and list all the reasons why you love him or her. How many virtues can you list? Most of us have not focused on virtues enough. Without that focus, we are left noticing things that draw us further apart. Expanding your vocabulary of virtues will increase your connection to others. How many virtues can you list about someone you love? Discover 10 new words that help capture the essence of that person.
12. You look marvelous!
Some days you look in the mirror and love what you see. Other days you can't bear to face yourself. This can often have more to do with how we feel than how we look. We present ourselves differently when we are feeling loved. Love plays a big part in how we feel; could it also play a part in how we dress? How do you dress when you are feeling loved?
13. I love you to death
We all have loved ones. But sometimes it takes the fear of death to bring us to express our love. Take a moment to express loving words to someone in your life who is alive and well.
14. Actions speak louder than words
Hearing "I love you" feels good, whether it's from a parent, sibling, good friend or spouse. A loving action, however, can go further. What loving actions do you prefer to perform and receive, and why?
You know the phrase, "my other half." Well, that lines up with Jewish wisdom, which teaches us that you and your soul mate are two halves of a whole. By taking care of your "other half" you are also taking care of yourself. Close your eyes and envision a loving relationship with your soul mate. What small daily acts of loving kindness are you looking forward to performing?
There are endless forms of love that we receive from so many different people in our lives. You are already surrounded by those who love you; keep that in mind as we approach the Jewish day of love. I hope these ideas help you to deepen the loving feelings you share with those around you. And may those inner feelings of love attract your true love to you, and keep love growing always and in all ways.
Originally published here, at Aish.com.