The greatest love affair of all
“How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something even more essential to living a wholehearted life: loving ourselves.” Brene Brown
So it’s that time of year again.
Shop windows full of red hearts and roses.
Special gifts packs and chocolate boxes for “the one you love.”
When we’re invited to think about who we’re attracted to or madly in love with - and secretly let them know.
I remember finding this an exciting time in my teens and early adulthood; waiting with anticipation for the flurry of cards from my secret admirers, then trying to figure out who they were from
Or - on the odd year when no letters plopped through the letter-box on February 14th - feeling rather dejected: making the lack of Valentine’s cards mean I was unworthy.
Over time, the cards stopped coming altogether, so I stopped hoping and taking it personally, even though, if truth be told, I’m a die-hard romantic and would love to receive cards, flowers, chocolates or a fun invitation from a sexy man. Not just on February 14th, but any day!!
My longing for love and romance made me prey in the past. To addicts, abusers and love-bombing manipulators.
Which led to challenging experiences, that were anything but loving.
As Chuck Spezzano famously said “if it hurts, it isn’t love.”
Until one day the BIG old wake-up call came - by way of the harshest emotional pain I’ve known - to anchor in the knowing that nothing and nobody outside myself could ever give me the love I was seeking.
These days I call that wake-up call itself love. Perhaps the greatest loving gesture ever. (Thanks Ma Kali).
The pain was mine to feel. And it led me to the realisation, that love is actually always here.
So many of us struggle to really, I mean REALLY love ourselves.
Even now, after 20 years of personal development and dedication to love, even after successive wake-up calls, I forget.
And the old ways of not-love creep back in. Because, as I see it, we’re pretty much schooled into self-loathing and forgetting.
It can take a lifetime to unravel such conditioning. To re-remember ourselves as already perfect, ecstatic and whole.
It's what my life is devoted to. And I continually learn and grow.
The recent Radical Honesty workshop I took, for example, highlighted the ways I still withhold and make myself small, out of a fear of taking up space, getting it “wrong” and being emotionally vulnerable.
Radical honesty, as far as I'm concerned anyhow = radical love.
On the other hand, through my own eternal questing and soul trials, I've acquired a certain mastery and evolutionary wisdom in cultivating and embodying love
Two of my former teachers, Fleur Inanna & Thessa Sophia, introduced me to the wonderfully simple, yet powerfully transformative practice of acceptance and allowance, for example.
After years of intense ceremonies, shadow work, journalling, meditation and energy awakening, these 2 key-words (and states of being) have continually returned me to love. Just letting the words vibrate in my inner space whenever I’m triggered initiates relaxation and equilibrium.
Of course, there are many forms of love besides romantic or sexual.
The Valentine’s Day hype fixates us on these two. Almost willing us to feel lonely or inadequate if we’re single.
But what about our family and friends?
For myself, my kids have elicited the purest form of unconditional love I’ve ever experienced. What a gift!!
Just as my parents have been my biggest teachers through my experience of them as not love. Also a gift! They’re the root of my karma to dharma story after all. I would not be the Priestess of Love & Sacred Sexuality I am today without them.
If we are truly dedicated to awakening as love, then all of it - light and dark - is here to expand and fine-tune us.
So over the coming days of heightened attention to love, I invite you to remember that the greatest love affair of all starts and ends with you.
And if you are in need of compassionate, yet clear-seeing support, guidance and healing around the themes of your own heart, reach out. I love to support my clients in their own return to love. Welcome xx