Reflections on Unconditional Love – Valentine’s Day 2014

The past week has been a deliciously rich time of introspection and recalibration for me; for my heart. A journey of ups and downs witnessed with self-awareness and in part shared with a friend and mentor who allowed me the space to bounce my thoughts of a trusted sounding board. The trigger for the increased momentum of an emotional roller coaster was Valentine’s Day; now passed for another year.

My conditioned response to Valentine’s Day had me riding a wave of expectations. My expectations were of needing demonstrated attention and affection from an intimate other, and on the flip side, expectations of unrequited love from past experience. As I reflected on the range of mixed emotions that arose I realised my deepest aspirations of love, and how I truly wanted to experience love. As anger, grief and disappointment ebbed and flowed through me, I noticed the memories and associations I harbored about love. I noticed it wasn’t really “love” at all. My past experience in many different kinds of relationships was more about needing other people to fulfill a huge chasm within me that I had no idea, or skills, on how to fulfill myself. The past 19 years has been a slow road to consciousness to discover this aspect about life that many people experience.

My Valentine’s thoughts moved to my children, my mother, dear friends and a beautiful intimate soul who has come into my life. My heartfelt realisation is that love for all these people in their different roles in my life is all the same; my ability and the appropriateness on how to express love varies, the depth not so much. I meditated throughout the past week on emotions, on how I shut down, and on opening my heart, feeling my body as it responded to all that arose. I feel blessed to know that even though there are road blocks to my understanding and expression of love, the deep aspiration of my soul is to feel and express loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.

This beautiful Sunday morning I picked up a Mindfulness Bell Magazine borrowed from my Sangha library, which has been floating around for 3 weeks now. The timing was perfect. The major theme of this publication is True Love. It contains articles about love between couples, a mothers’ love, and other themes about loving kindness. The underlying message in all these touching stories and teachings is our ability to come back to ourselves and water the seeds of love within. The articles relate many powerful events people have experienced. Events that often teach people to foster anger, guilt, shame and blame. These all affect our ability to love ourselves and see that we are perfect just as we are, that all our experiences shape the beautiful soul who is there looking back in the mirror every day: A beautiful soul that is often crying out to be loved.

Image from Dodinsky,com

I read a beautiful quote by Dodinsky this morning and I would love to sow a seed for you to water here today.

“You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.” ~ Dodinsky

I wish you well on your journey within to opening your heart. I am on the same journey too and it’s often a bumpy road. I feel my heart open more and more towards myself every day. I see and feel the effect of mindfulness the more I practice. I love that as people come and go in my life, I am responsible for my love, my joy, and my happiness. I love that I have so much more to give to others as I open my own heart to me. As I grow in love I see so much beauty and perfection in other souls. I understand and appreciate all our journeys much more deeply.

Love and light …

Recommended reading: True Love –  A Practice for Awakening the Heart. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh