Love From the Inside Out

It’s almost Valentine’s Day again…a day I want to love and yet I can’t quite get my arms wrapped around it just yet. You might say, “I’ve lost that loving feeling.” This is my 3rd Valentine’s Day since my divorce and I am happy to report that I am not dreading this day of LOVE… and yet my perspective on it is quite different. I am learning that love is not a one-day event, and it is much more than the flowers, cards, and romantic time with that someone special. I’m learning to love from the inside out.

I remember well my very first Valentine’s Day after my divorce. I had just patted myself on the back for making it through the holidays only to feel like the universe was making an all out assault on me in mid-February. Every store front, radio and TV commercial reminded me of what I didn’t have, of what I had lost, of what I feared I’d never have again. I felt excluded from this world of love and quite frankly, it sucked.

And now, love is unfolding in the most magnificent way. I see it all around me and I am gaining clarity on what I want, and perhaps more importantly who I have to BE in order to have the love I want, the life I want.

A week ago Sunday as I attended mass, I witnessed love the way I want it — demonstrated in real life right before my eyes. In the pew directly in front of me sat an older couple. A woman who I assume was the daughter of this couple greeted them joyfully, and then left her two small children with Grandma and Grandpa. She returned again, this time with her husband who was in a wheel chair. Then, as the mass progressed, I watched in admiration as this family demonstrated love in the most amazing way and I knew that is what I wanted.

I saw this couple, this family being LOVE. The wheel chair represented the flaws, the shortcomings that we all have and what I witnessed was that in spite of the flaws and defects, even perhaps because of them, there was great admiration and respect for one another, true intimacy. This couple touched, gazed lovingly in each others’ eyes and smiled. This daughter reached over and stroked her fathers face… this family touched, both physically and emotionally, in ways that left me sure that I wanted to have that in my life.

But here’s the thing… or as Oprah says the thing I know for sure… that love is only possible when I love myself first, when I can embrace all of me, my light and my dark, that which I am proud of and that which I’d like to deny. And I’m learning to do that… one step at a time, and most certainly with some rather significant stumbles along the way. But that’s all part of it. It is only when I learn to love myself completely, that I can show up authentically in a relationship. I know this… as I’m learning more and more about who I am, about who I want to be, there is so much more of me to show up, and so much more of me to love and be loved. That’s exciting… so to Tom Shane (of The Shane Company Jewelers) who at one point made me want to flip out on Valentine’s Day… I say… bring it on!

So, do you have the love you want in your life? If so, do you believe it is love from the inside out? And if you don’t, what will you need to embrace about yourself to GET the love?

P.S. For more thoughts on love… read the Loving Your Teen Unconditionally article written by my partner and best friend, Carol Satterlee. You’ll find it in the Free Articles link above on this blog site.