I love exploring and analyzing words, but love is a word with such depth and complexity that it seems beyond the grasp of other words; such a vast range of experiences, actions, and feelings are captured by the word love.
What the Hallmark cards don’t often tell us is that deep love requires much fierceness, courage and faith.
And, with those words a passion for speaking about the practice of love was stirred.
Valentine’s Day tends to be associated with what I describe as drunk love. An experience of love that is largely about feeling loved, feeling fabulous, and finding it hard not to smile; usually a deep, consuming, romantic love characterized by a sometimes-reckless indulgence in passion and impulsivity. In a nutshell, the love of fairy tales and Hollywood films.
But, Marita’s words shifted my Valentine’s Day focus to the love of action. The kind of love that isn’t necessarily a reflection of my immediate feelings, but rather a reflection of my deep commitment to cultivate love in my heart, in my relationships, and in the world around me.
Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote, “You must be the change you want to see in the world,” strikes at the heart of this practice of love. We won’t find more love, compassion or peace in this world unless we first cultivate these qualities within our self. And then, move forward with the courage and determination to act accordingly towards others.
In learning to practice love, to move with love, consider this question: Are my thoughts, words and actions fostering love, compassion and acceptance for myself and for those around me?