A Beating Heart and an Open Mind

Red rose

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. ~Lao Tzu

As the lovers of the world celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’d like to invite you to reflect on love and how it has transformed your life.

We are all in different stages of growth in our lives. Some of us have been in love more than once. Others are yet to experience it. Some are blessed with loving relationships. Others have endured heartbreak and loss.

Regardless of where you’re at, this is a wonderful time to think about love and truthfully reflect on your experiences.

These words are not meant to poke at open wounds or cause more heartache. They are intended to honor the love that was, is, and will be in your life.

If you are in a loving relationship, how is your life different today because of this love?

Look back and recall how you met. How did you feel back then?

Think of all the experiences, good and challenging, you’ve had with your loved one and how you grew through each one.

Outside of needs and appearances, why are you still together? Just like your bond and love, your reasons for committing to and nurturing a relationship are uniquely yours.

We sometimes blame familiarity, and the ever so mundane routines and demands for sucking the romance out of our relationships. But the truth is: familiarity brings us closer, maybe in different ways.

Love can be sexy and cool. But it can also be funny, goofy, silly, even stupid sometimes. It all counts and it’s all good.

What are you thankful for when it comes to your relationship?

Take your time to celebrate this one of a kind bond realizing that all of life is celebrating with you.

Love has no desire but to fulfill itself.  To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.  To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.  ~Kahlil Gibran

If you were in love at one point but that love didn’t last—by choice or circumstance, reflect on the experience and feel the joy and pain.

What are the most memorable loving experiences you’ve had?

How have you grown from your past relationships?

If you lost a loved one, what’s the most loving thing they’ve done for you? What do you miss the most?

If you have been hurt or betrayed, what’s the worst thing that this person did to you? How did you survive it?

Honor the memory of past love. Mourn the loss if it still hurts. And give yourself the biggest pat on the back for being here. You have loved, lost, and endured. And you most certainly can love again.

If you have never been in love, take this opportunity to think about your reasons.

Do you feel you deserve love?

If you don’t feel deserving, just remember that every beating heart deserves love. You are here because life loves you.

No matter how unworthy or bad you think you are, I’m here to tell you it’s an illusion. You are lovable, if you allow yourself to be.

Are you afraid of being hurt?

Part of falling in love is the risk of loss—which is inevitable in life. Uncertainty is part of living. Every day we risk losing a loved one, a loved career, possession, and most importantly: our beloved health and wellbeing.

It takes courage to love—as much as it takes courage to be alive—being vulnerable, exposed and trusting.

And since we don’t live in isolation, think of all the people you love—family and friends and what they mean to you. You are strong enough to take the risk of loving (and losing) them.

Meet the possibility of love with curiosity and excitement instead of apprehension, and have faith that life is on your side.

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. ~Mother Teresa

Love is a powerful four-letter word that is felt by everyone. Our love may come in different forms and circumstances. But it still remains a unifying force that permeates and reshapes the fabric of our existence every single moment.

Whether you have someone to celebrate love with or not, you can honor all the love in your life right now.

There is nothing wrong with being alone if that’s a conscious choice that gives you peace and joy. But if it’s not, I hope you keep an open mind. And as long as you have a beating heart, love is within your reach.

Where there is love there is life. ~Mahatma Gandhi