It's All About the Love


From my heart to yours
At the end of this Valentine’s Day, I celebrate and send you a wish for love – not in a commercial “Happy Valentine’s Day” way; not meant only for those who have an intimate partnership with someone, but in a heartfelt way to each of you reading this, in each of the various ways you might encounter love in your days. May you experience the feelings of love in your community and within yourself, many times over…

I do want to thank you for any past reading of my blog that you have done. I especially appreciate that you’ve taken in any morsel of what I have said and I hope you have felt your own heart softened or soothed by my words. I hope that this has felt like love. When you share your reactions or responses with me, letting me know that something I’ve written has impacted you in some way, that has felt like love to me.

When I was sitting for hours at a Starbucks yesterday, trying to write my blog post for today, and I was mostly people-watching out the window; I saw a man stop and talk to a homeless man and carry on a conversation for 15 minutes or so. They greeted each other in a knowing way; looked really happy to see each other; they talked and laughed, and then shook hands as they parted… That looked like love to me.

I spoke with an older woman who had to admit to me and unload what she had been carrying around with her, that she was worried that her husband of nearly 60 years might not last past the five-year mark of his heart attack, which was coming up soon, even though he’s made a great recovery… That sounded like love to me.

I was with a young friend who is planning her wedding and was excited about the details of flowers and decorations, and in the middle of the flurry of activity, she stopped and asked her fiancé what he thought and what he liked, and really listened to what he said… That felt like love to me.

I heard about a young man who is taking underprivileged youth to a science center in honor of Black history month, hoping to inspire them to get into the sciences and carving out precious time from his day off from a very stressful job… That seems like love to me.

I sat with a couple who have had recent difficulties in their marriage, and watched them go from being on the edge of an argument and feeling a lot of despair, to laughing and finding humor and silliness in what they do. The wife was asking for what she needs when they have conflict and said (playfully but in all seriousness) that what would work best for her would be having her husband agree that she was always right about everything all the time, in all circumstances. They both laughed hysterically and broke through the wall that had been building…That looked like love to me.

I heard Tara Brach (one of my favorite meditation practicing therapists) suggest that we bring kindness to our moments of suffering or frustration, and instead of wondering what’s wrong with me, or focusing on something missing about myself or another; or worrying about a deficit, to wonder “how might this feeling serve my awakening?”…That felt like love to me – to me.

In the ongoing yoga summit I am listening to, I heard a practitioner say “Don’t meditate to fix yourself, to improve yourself, to redeem yourself; rather do it as an act of love – a deep, warm friendship to yourself.” … Meditating mindfully feels like love to me.

In this world where it feels like there’s so much hate – and we all know that hatred breeds hate – I see signs that say “love trumps hate!” “The power of love will overcome the love of power.” I know this to be true within individuals, families, communities… This teaching represents Love to me.

I listened to someone (with love) describe the feeling of contentment, peace and ease in her heart, after having some success at school on a project, and feeling OK with herself. She savored this lovely experience and created a sort of necklace of golden light for herself that she could draw upon when faced with difficult situations. She described an experience of visualizing many hues of gold and white light coming together, like the sun shimmering on the water, and reflecting off the trees – at the golden hour – so vivid and true. She associated this to other wondrous experiences, that she sometimes has alone, or with friends in response to the aesthetic beauty of something, or a special relationship, or when working with kids and feeling her brain coming in sync with theirs and helping them to work something out. She said, “This is how I feel love.” … I agree. This definitely feels like love to me.

…At the end of this day of valentines, in whatever form it took for you, and regardless of whether you love or hate or ignore this day, I wish you love.

May you experience love in it’s various forms, in big and little ways, and may you notice and savor each moment as it is filled with love….

Listening with Heart.

Cindi Rivera, MFT
[email protected]
(510) 482-4445
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