This Valentine’s Day, we are living in a world that needs some love—and we need to give it.
Loving is the way we wake up from the dream of powerlessness. Love is a game changer.
The Berlin wall fell. Slaves were freed. Someone published the book of their dreams today. Someone else rose up against cancer and booked a trip to Greece. Every single day, there are those who rise up in love. Love in the face of ugliness, defeat, or fiasco.
Love is spirit’s calling card. There are no weapons or conditions that can withstand the onslaught of consistent love. Love never fails.
Love never fails—it’s just that we fail to love.
Believe me, I’m not saying this is easy. After all, I’m the kind of girl who gets thrown off if you choose to visit your dying aunt over sitting with me, telling you about my 137 neuroses—and by thrown off, I mean, I will push the red button, because you’ve pushed my buttons.
We’re all human. We all find it easier to say, ‘I’ll be Gandhi tomorrow’, and meanwhile stagnate in our story about how the world should be.
It’s easy to fall onto the bandwagon of complaining. It’s a loud caravan passing through the streets daily. Ugliness gets media attention. There’s fanfare for foulness. Sometimes, it’s hard to hear anything else what with the noise of discontentment.
Lovers turn their attention to love. It’s that simple—but it’s not simplistic. It’s not the work of simpletons. It’s the work of those who are committed to freedom, growth and cultivating capacities.
Love is a practice for those who care about how they feel each day and what words they allow to roll from their tongues into the waiting pores of those around them. This isn’t for the lazy. This isn’t for those who want to be right. This isn’t for those who want to feel wronged. This is for those who want to be free. This is for those who wish to be merciful to themselves yet uncompromising with their desires.
This is the Valentine’s Day I wish for the world. I want us to be lovers who use our power of attention to love. Lovers of others. Lovers of ourselves. I want us to do the work. I want us to be the ones who reach like seeds for the sun, because something deep within knows the light is there, even when we’re chilled by darkness.
I want us to be more than we think we can be. I want us to be what we know we can be. I want us to start now.
What does it mean to turn your attention to love? It doesn’t mean we turn away from problems. It doesn’t mean we turn away from suffering.
We must tend to pain, especially our own. Because it’s almost impossible to love others, when we do not love ourselves.
We must find a way to rise. And this is what I know about rising. It’s about trying again. It’s about not giving up. It’s falling down 7 times and getting up 8, as the Japanese proverb goes.
Keep fighting despite your own resistance and justifications and the discouraging self-talk that diminishes who you really are.
Of course, love doesn’t mean we don’t stand up against injustice. It means we might. But we don’t do anything out of bitterness. Bitterness eats your strength. Hate can deafen you to the voice or consciousness of the divine. Love is always merciful and yet never a doormat. It’s a firehose of strength. It’s an oracle of new perspective. Real love is a wild force that changes any landscape on any day.
Where do you need to give your love? Who do you need to love—and in what way? Or how can you love yourself more—right now?