As Valentine’s Day approaches, it is natural to think about love. Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have a loving life partner. Perhaps you are longing to have such a partner.
I am blessed to be married to an amazing woman whom I love very much. But, I know that the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift is inside of my heart.
I believe that our true Home is a field of a pure Love. When we come into human incarnation, at first we are still immersed in that love and don’t have any sense of being someone separate. But, as we experience the conflicts/judgments/pain/etc., of the human experience, we form a protective, false identity, often called the ego.
We forget that Pure Love is our true home, the essence of who we are, and we look for love in other people and situations.
The highest possibility in this human life is to remember that we are love and to live as That.
I’m a coach, not a philosopher, so I would like to offer some practical tools for doing this:
1) Gratitude is the simplest, most consistently accessible doorway to the heart. In the middle of whatever might be going on, we can always bring attention to our breath and give thanks for the gift of life. Don’t try to control the breath, just let it flow naturally and receive it. Then, focus on your heart and relax into the feeling of gratitude.
2) When a painful feeling arises, meet it with gratitude. You can first be grateful that, rather than being lost in the pain, you are aware of it. Focus on your heart and feel gratitude for the gift of awareness.
Then, perhaps you can be grateful that life is offering you a chance to consciously meet this pain. Emotional pain doesn’t come out of nowhere; it has been stored in your body and subconscious from past experience. When it comes out of hiding into the light of awareness, you have a golden opportunity to meet it and release it.
Notice where the contraction is strongest in your body, then relax into that area.
I consistently find that when I’m able to meet painful emotions this way, they quickly dissipate. Sometimes, there’s a physical release through coughing or shaking. Afterwards, I always feel more open and loving.
3) Gratitude can help you open more and more to love. Surrender can enable you to live as the Love which you truly are.
As discussed earlier, the ego, or false self, is based on protection. When we close down because we don’t feel safe, we feel separate and build a life based on avoiding what we believe is painful and trying to get what we think will make us feel better. This strategy leads at best to being on a roller coaster, at worst to constant misery.
When we realize that our life has been driven by ego/conditioning/fear, we have the chance to make a profound shift.
One powerful way to do this is to offer our body/human life to Love/God to be used for the highest good.
Many people find that having a form which represents the Divine to be helpful. For a long time, the primary form I focused on was Mother Mary, now it’s Anandamayi Ma (an embodiment of Divine Mother who lived in 20th century India).
I find that physically bowing down/prostrating before a picture of Ma helps me let go of the story of being someone separate and relax into the One Love that I AM.
Deeply inviting Love to use this body for the highest good changes the whole trajectory of the human life. The focus is no longer on protecting or getting for me. I feel myself as a vessel for Love to express. The more deeply I surrender, the more fully the separate devotee merges into the One Love.
So this Valentine’s Day, certainly be grateful for your human Valentine if you have one. But, don’t forget your True Eternal Valentine. Dedicate (or rededicate) yourself to the One. Use gratitude and surrender to come Home to Love.