I practice yoga to find my center. The repetitive practice recalibrates my imbalances, taking the gritty, the dirty, the bad and filtering it through a sieve. It’s my way of finding purity in life’s chaos. In other words it’s where I source love.
Parents wake up and, day in and day out, take care of their homes, children, spouses, pets. Sometimes with help and sometimes without help, we tirelessly do the monotonous and fight through the madness for love. Perhaps we are parenting our own parents or even a business. Perhaps we are loving friends, lovers, spouses. Perhaps we are loving somebody from a distance. Regardless, most of us are constantly loving and being loved.
Our perception of love and how to love or what love is developed from infancy to adulthood. Ultimately, our different upbringings cause a natural variance between each of our love perceptions. We each learn how to love very differently, which is often why, when we are being loved in ways we aren’t accustomed to, it is like hearing something in a foreign language. We simply don’t understand.
Some of us love by making food for friends. Others buy their loved ones’ gifts. Some use words and write pages upon pages of poetry about those we love. The truth is we often want to feel love but, in fact, we may just need to look and see that it’s actually right in front of us.
I imagine I’m not the only one who’s ever asked myself the question, what is love? A very simple example is the love between a parent and a child. We look at our kids and can barely tolerate our pounding heartbeats and watering eyes. My heart feels ripped from my chest, my pupils dilate and there’s no question, this is love.
So why is it we’re still wondering what love is when perhaps it’s not for us to know or to understand it at all. Why are we questioning what is so obviously tangible and everywhere around us? Perhaps we need to simply feel it. To allow ourselves to be loved as we already love each other. To let it pour in and fill into the tiny crevices, into the pores, into the sanctuary of our hearts.
If you have ever sat in meditation, or finished a long run, or completed an intense task, there is this sense of elation and relief simultaneously. It’s like a large exhale; a wind that has finally found room to escape. Often we are brought to our knees by such accomplishments and cry in joy. Oddly enough it’s cathartic, as it is when our hearts break when somebody we love escapes us. It’s the sensation of falling and landing; the touch of something which is so hot it feels cold. It’s the pause between inhale and exhale.
So, on Valentine’s Day, a day when we’re either relishing in a lavish gift our boyfriend or girlfriend just got us, or eating Chinese and ice cream solo watching Love Jones or Bridget Jones’s Diary, don’t think of the why or why nots. Instead, feel the love. Feel the love you don’t even remember you have. Close your eyes and let it come over you. Even if it’s a lost love, let it take you over. Or if somebody is loving you, let love in – give it a try.
You really can’t have too much love in any way, shape, or form. And if you do have extra, bring it toward your center and think of it as emotional currency. Love it forward.