Updated: Feb 2
February stirs up many sentiments. Depending on where one lives, winter winds are still whipping about; and by the middle of the month feelings of longing and desire also swirl. Many romantic relationships will begin, others will be rekindled, and unfortunately some will stall and die out.
For most of my teenaged years and too far into my adult life - in my 20s and much of my 30s - I discounted familial love. I took it for granted. I thought my family would always be there. And so, I focused on romantic love. I read about romance, watched it on TV, dreamt about, and inhaled and exhaled it. In fact, once, I remember feeling so desperate for love that I thought “mommy doesn’t understand, she has the love of her life. I have to go out and find mine!”
I laugh now as I think back to those childish, selfish thoughts, emotion-filled thoughts, but maybe I needed to feel them in order to appreciate true love in its many forms now. The truth is, love is varied. If we live long enough, we all find that out sooner or later.
What I Love
I love God, my daughter, my possessions, parts of my body, my siblings, my parents, friends, nature, poetry, novels, famous people I find engaging and men. The love of these people and things ranges from the all-encompassing to the “I love you, or it” for a specific reason.
While I had one not-so-pleasant encounter with yoga in the early 90s, (I learned it’s best to always be on time for class and to warm up my body), I truly discovered yoga in a personal way in the early 2000s after I had an accident. My beliefs, determination and yoga practice took me from a dark place into the light and to an emotionally, mentally, and physically stronger me. Without a doubt, I LOVE yoga! For the love of yoga, I teach. I share. I encourage others to find themselves through positive thought and meditative movement; and I breathe!
I discovered the idea, reality, and necessity of self-love even later in life – fairly recently – actually.
Are there still things about me I wish to change? Yes! What do I do about it? I adopt a growth mindset and work at leaving negative thoughts about myself behind. Is that easy? Not always. Is it possible? Yes.
I am doing this because I love myself. I have to do that before I can truly show love to others. My love of my ‘self’ allows me to be a better mother, sister, child, and friend. How? Because the good I want for myself, I also want for others.
Love is a Great Desire & Commandment
I never want to “show love” in a cruel, hateful manner by forcing my beliefs or desires onto others as Paul wrote to the Corinthians. He encouraged devotion and engagement -- not empty actions.
I am still working on me. I am not perfect. But I have hope. I have faith. I have love. I claim them all. Romantic love is not all that exists. Embrace your family and friends. They are gifts. The greatest of these is love and love never ends! I am still on my dynamic journey.
How about you, who or what do you
love? Is there a measure?