With the romantic hype of Valentine's Day, it is easy to get caught up in judgment about our own "love life" as we call it. Do I have someone to send me flowers and cards of adoration? Will someone be taking me out for a romantic evening? If not, we often see ourselves falling short -- judging ourselves as undesirable, not good enough or a failure for not having a partner. "Poor me" we say.
While romantic love can be intoxicating and ever so delicious, there is a deeper kind of love that bars no participants. It is the generosity of heart that smiles at a stranger as a way of saying "I see you." It is the kind of love that doesn't keep score in a relationship, but rather allows us to embrace ourselves and our partner through the trials and triumphs of life. It is the kind of love that might say, "I love you and I am not liking your behavior." It is the kind of love that is given first to ourselves through loving care of our body, mind and soul, with the overflow generously and unconditionally given to others. It is the kind of love that celebrates our oneness and honors our differences as we share our common humanity while each marching to the beat of our own particular drum -- or flute or saxophone.
So, this Valentine's Day, choose to participate as a dispenser of loving kindness regardless of your romantic love life. Do a few random acts of kindness just to spread some loving around. Do something nurturing for yourself. If you want more love, give more love -- be loving not just on Valentine's Day, but every day. Look through the eyes of love and you activate the energy of love within yourself. There is more loving available than you could ever "feel" or think you need. Reach into the depths of yourself and lavishly love yourself and others. It's fun. It's free. It's infectious. It's available for the choosing.
Here are some of my favorite quotations that celebrate this deeper kind of love:
If you can't love somebody,
it's best to say, 'I don't know who they are.'
That's a clear, precise, and honest statement,
because if you don't love someone,
you really don't know who they are.
The person you criticize, the one you put down,
is not known to you.
Anyone who is truly known to you is loved.
--John-Roger with Paul Kaye
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
--H. L. Mencken
Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself.
Go deeper than love, for the soul has greater depths,
love is like the grass, but the heart is deep wild rock
molten, yet dense and permanent.
Go down to your deep old heart, and lose sight of yourself.
And lose sight of me, the me whom you turbulently loved.
Let us lose sight of ourselves, and break the mirrors.
For the fierce curve of our lives is moving again to the depths
out of sight, in the deep living heart.
. . . like the earth, that brings forth flowers
in summer, and love, but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks
of two human hearts, two ancient rocks, . . .
that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.
Real love is a permanently self-enlarging experience.
--M. Scott Peck
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
Be universal in your love.
You will see the universe to be the picture of your own being.
Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world...
Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.
--Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.
It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the Fire with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
--Oriah Mountain Dreamer
A relationship is about movement, growth;
it is a holy interpersonal environment for the evolution of two souls.
The changes it goes through as an entity in itself
are the measure of the changes being undertaken by the individuals in it.
What we ask of our relationships is the measure of what they ask of us,
and of what, in time, we will each become.
--Daphne Rose Kingma
My love for you has no strings attached.
I love you for free.
For one human being to love another human being:
that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us,
the ultimate task, the final test and proof,
the work for which all other work is merely preparation.
--Rainer Maria Rilke
May all beings be happy and at their ease.
May they be joyous and live in safety.
All beings, whether weak or strong B omitting none B
in high, middle, or low realms of existence,
small or great, visible or invisible,
here or far away,
born or to be born:
may all beings be happy and at their ease.
Happy Valentine's Day, and happy More Loving-Kindness Consciousness Everyday to us all!
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