Valentine's Day is almost here again. Cupids and hearts, roses and chocolate...it's all about love. And whether it fills you with joy or dread, the holiday seems here to stay.
Usually when we think about love, we think about romantic, or emotional love. Emotional love is wonderful, but it’s centered on an interpersonal transaction; on having our love reflected back to us by someone else.
When we need emotional love to feel that we have love, though, we always need someone else in the equation. That’s because we see love as a need waiting to be met, rather than an innate quality ready to be shared.
The poet Rumi wrote a lot about love. He said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Every day we are presented with opportunities, large and small, to say Yes to love. Held back by fear and uncertainty, we say no.
But choosing love allows for the possibility of being more of who we truly are! Which is free. Which is eternal. Unlimited. Unbound.
Ram Dass says, “From the ego’s vantage point, you surrender to love. From the soul’s vantage point, you are coming home.” So you’re not thinking about loving; you just are love. And the awesome thing is, we’re all love! When we look at another being, we’re looking at love. It’s like the Namaste ritual; when you look into someone else’s eyes and recognize the same essence that’s in them is in you.
Love exists in all of us. It’s the core of our deepest self. And when we live from that place of love, when we make choices based on that love, when we share that love with one another, we bless the whole world.
There’s a famous Marianne Williamson quote from her book, A Return To Love, which says, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Conversations With God says, “When you choose the action love sponsors, then you will do more than survive, then you will do more than win, then you will do more than succeed.”
Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other.”
Ramana Maharshi said, “Love is alpha and omega.”
Ram Dass tells us Maharaj-ji’s only teaching is love. It’s the beginning, the middle and the end.
In The Path to Tranquility, the Dalai Lama said, “The foundation of all spiritual practice is love.”
So practice. Practice choosing love. Choose love with your family. Choose love with your friends. Choose love with a stranger. And choose love with yourself. I promise, it will change your life.
Poetry and Musings of an Interfaith Minister on the Journey of a Lifetime.