I'm sure you have. Variations of "worthwhile love" have been touted across the internet since we were all teenagers. We are the official first generation of people learning to love ourselves, love others and to be good humans both in person and online. In our generation of loving humans, I see us, taught to love ourselves overtop of one another and to vie, view and beg for attention in a clamor of noise.
I don't believe we even really know we're doing it.
I believe we go about our lives doing the best we can, with what we have and that it has taken me years to get to a space where I can talk about love realistically.
Recently, (as in I just got back this week) I was in New Orleans for a month long artist retreat.
It was a retreat from my life, from my humans I love, from my current connected relationships and from my dogs. I have spent a significant amount of my life, learning how I can best love myself, and love other people. There's a secret magic to it.
I have to accept people for exactly who they are and then, be able to step fully into myself- boundaries and delight intact and turn to face them. Love is action for me.
Living in love, is a space of great power and small egos. Being loved is different for me than loving the people, nature and animals around me. Living in love is a magical receptive state where creative flow, serendipity, connections and ease of interaction occur for me, because:
1. I am choosing to be fully open to whatever is actually there, rather than what I want to be there. #Noexpectations #justdelight
2. I am rising up, consciously, to meet my experiences. I use curiousity to lead my heart towards visual objects that inspire my creativity, and I listen when my heart or eyes, or mind are engaged with another person and I do the unexpected.
3. I speak to the person who intrigues me.
I compliment them on something I really like, usually their creativity, a comment they said or if I can find nothing else immediate, I say something engaging and complimentary about their physical appearance.
It works. Talking to people about themselves makes them feel important. I know when someone takes the time to talk to me about who I am, what I like, it makes me feel incredibly seen, heard and heart forward. My chest puffs up and I prance a little inside. We are all really important people who walk around being important, having important conversations and the opportunity for glee.
When I am living in love, I find it really easy to come from my heart with everyone around me. I see it as this flow, this give and take between each of us. This negates that concept of being unable to love someone else without loving ourselves first. Without putting ourselves first. (This is a quiet over simplification of a complex emotional reality and will bear further thoughts and words as time passes, just fyi.)
Now, why are we talking about this concept of important people, living in love, being seen, being open to new experiences, etc? Because it's February and there is no way any of us can get away from the fluffy pink hearts, oversized and highly priced giant teddy bears, and the cheap milk chocolate of the Love Holiday.
You can rage, you can ignore, you can celebrate Valentines Day, or you can celebrate anti-valentines day on the cheap after the fact-but you can't actually get AWAY from the Valentines Day Visuals and the ideas of a consumer based love holiday.
What we can do however- is encourage REAL Action based love between one another.
(Ok, this phrase right here, while I mean it, is also so sappy sounding that it kills me. I am still growing too, and emotionally I function best feeling thru art, rather than thru warm fuzzy word feelings.)
Still, I know I love very well, as a person, dog-mom, tattoo-artist, friend, lover, daughter and sister. I want to spread some love your way and encourage you towards a compassionate loving kindness to yourself, to others and to the whole world around you.
How do YOU encourage real Action Based Love towards your chosen family and yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts, in the comments below, or feel free to email me if you’re shy.