Celebrate the Many Forms of Love on Valentines Day

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. Jimi Hendrix

Tuesday is Valentines Day; time to speak of love.

MAUDE: Love is often elusive to define, and yet is the underpinning of all that is real. And here we are in the season of celebrating love in all its many forms. Valentine’s day is upon us and with it so many are reflecting on this word, what it is in their lives, its presence or absence, its fulfillment or deprivation.

Love has so many delicious flavors and offers itself up full of surprises. It is a way to get to know ourselves, and by loving who we are, we are able to act from love and offer others its healing power.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. Buddha

It is a way to approach the world and an attitude with which to relate to all that happens to us. The many and varied ways we express our love and receive love from others shape the world we live in. Each relationship offers us new possibilities to stretch the boundaries of how we experience love.

My parents were crazy in love with each other and they filled our house with it. I know this is a rare experience and probably formed me more than any other factor in my life. When I was the child and lived with them, I thought that was how it was everywhere. This peaceful relationship showed me how two lovers can be with each other. I built my house upon this love and that is where I will ever reside.

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

My first true experience of giving conscious unconditional love, came with my dear first child. The level of love, the surge of protective energy, the fierceness of emotion, was intense beyond anything I had ever known. It took me by surprise and took over my whole being. All of a sudden, there was no thinking involved at all, only love, unending, overwhelming, and ecstatic. The first night after my son was born, I had a dream in which armies were trying to harm my child and I stood my ground like Xena, and mowed them all down with a machine gun! I, who have never raised my hand to another human being, was gleefully annihilating an entire phantom army as they sought to harm my child! It was eye opening and brought a much deeper understanding of my fellow parents across the planet, and the lengths to which they will go in what they believe are the interests of their child.

There is no greater power in Heaven or on Earth than pure, unconditional love. The nature of the God force, the unseen intelligence in all things, which causes the material world and is the center of both the spiritual and physical plane, is best described as pure, unconditional love. Wayne Dyer

My children offer me this same unconditional love. They and their mates and their children are living love in my life. It grows and shocks me with its enormity, and its power to be ever more and ever greater. Although I never thought I would be one of those grandparents who couldn’t stop talking about their grandchildren and how fabulous they are, indeed I am. There is something beyond words that is the gift of this kind of love. Another mystery that is unimaginable without the actual experience, and yet is nothing more, really, than one of the many facets of love.

Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object. Ram Dass

I think of my dear sweetheart, Phil, and the wonder and joy that he brings into my life on a constant basis. He listens, hears me, and supports who I am. His love leads him to want the best for me always, and to put that at the forefront of our interactions. He shares himself; his thoughts, fears, desires, and he allows me to love him. Love must be accepted to be fully effective. Phil and I believe firmly that we can spread peace one loving relationship at a time.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Khalil Gibran

I think of my friends and the trials and tribulations we have shared together. We have talked, cried, laughed, danced, screamed, dared the impossible and supported each other in sickness and suffering, in life and through deaths, and through it all we have loved each other and stood with and for each other in love.

Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. Jim Morrison

I think of all those who I do not understand and who seem to act from hate. I think of them and I know that they are fellow travelers, brothers and sisters on this amazing journey. And I know I must find a way to love them as they are. I may not approve of their actions, but that is not a reason to withhold love.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King, Jr.

PHIL: I think many men struggle with the idea of love. I know I have. I used to think of it as this grand black and white forties Hollywood passion, and sure enough, that’s what I found at the start of a relationship, but as you know, that wears off, and I found myself back in the real world, wondering where love had gone. Again and again.

I didn’t have any use for the word “love” outside this context. It was after meeting Maude that my understanding of the word changed.

We live side by side in complete harmony. We don’t poke or prod or dig at each other. We are each able to live our lives in the world without needing to bend to the other, and yet being so close brings such strength and joy, and because we are never attacked, we can be completely open and honest with each other, and this only enhances the closeness between us. There is much more about this, about the importance of belief and intention and acceptance; I could write a book about it.

My point here is that none of this fits my Hollywood understanding of love, and so I have struggled to use that word. I can say “I love that you always give me space,” or “I so admire the care you give in your work,” but I stumble on the word itself. The amazing thing is that it doesn’t matter to Maude; I am seen for who I am. There is a best-seller called “The Five Languages of Love,” and though I haven’t read it, the premise is obvious from the title. With Maude, I am so grateful that my own voice is heard.

All of this has made me reassess what love is. I feel it radiating out from me to Maude, to other people, to the blue jay who visits our front garden and has dared to take crumbs from my hand. I still can’t say what it is, only that it is.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

4 comments on “Celebrate the Many Forms of Love on Valentines Day
  1. Jinjee says:

    I love the part of this post where it says about love “It is a way to get to know ourselves, and by loving who we are, we are able to act from love and offer others its healing power”
    Jinjee recently posted..A peek into my Raw Programs’ exclusive blogs…My Profile

    • Maude says:

      Hi Jinjee, great to hear that this post was helpful. Knowing ourselves is at the root of being able to know others, and love them.

  2. Elisabeth H Callahan says:

    What extraordinary writing about Love! With your customary honesty and accuracy of language, you have been able to movingly convey the many facets of Love – its unconditional nature, its fierceness and power, its endless, bottomless flow, and something of the Mystery of its source. It was tremendously inspiring and comforting to read your blog! Thank you, my dear friends for the nurturing river of your love.

    • Maude says:

      How lovely, thank you. We wanted to avoid a hearts-and-roses post, and it ended up being easier than we thought. Peace and love, Phil

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