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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Love Is...

I love the idea of celebrating love.  
When I think of Valentine’s Day, though, it’s not that celebration that comes to mind.  I think of Hallmark doing great business, flower shops selling out of roses, couples out for romantic dinners, people attaching the essence of their love to that day & feeling sad when significant others forget and people whose love is no less potent but who may not have one special person with whom to share it on that day.  
It’s February.  Rather than focusing the celebration of love on Valentine’s Day, and exclusively on romantic love, I will use this month to dabble in various expressions of love.  
When I was in college, some friends were talking about their love lives and one of them had mentioned that she said, “I love you” to the guy she was dating, after just days being together.  I offered my opinion that it seemed too soon for that sort of declaration.  My friend, Dana, then blurted out (in a sort of snarky way), “That, from YOU!  Miss love Everyone.”  
I froze, searching for my truth.  How could I be someone who approaches most people with love and still think it was too early for her to say it out loud to a new boyfriend?  (Now, the answer seems fairly obvious.)
I was (and still am) unapologetically a hippie at heart.  I like to frame things through the lens of love (though sometimes it can be challenging & I miss the mark).  Dana’s comment, though, caught me off guard and I didn’t have the sense to answer it as I would today.  And that is, in my daily expressions I love my parents in a different way than I love my husband who I love differently than I love my kids, friends and pets who I love in a different way than I love the ocean, trees, mountains & forests.  That’s when I break it down and recognize love's various shades, grades & levels of intensity.  
When the silence before sleep descends, however, all of those variants blend into one picture of love, where there are no distinguishing lines.  I am reminded that love is love.
As I rediscover my Yoga practice, with the temporary physical limitations I must honor, I will extend love's reach & set my intention to love where I am now.  I am grateful for a body & mind that are open to being flexible & surprised.  
Rather than catagorizing love any further, I will take this month as an opportunity to use this space to express, share, explore & celebrate the ever-giving gift of love.

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