The Layers of Love

We have entered February, and the inevitable holiday of Valentine’s Day approaches.  I am adding a link to a recent The Moth Podcast episode below: Camouflage (Stories of Our  Hidden Selves).  Although the episode is not particularly about love, there are three stories shared of how people have hidden their identities in various situations…comical, heart-wrenching, and inspirational.  In listening to the stories, I couldn’t help but see the complexities and layers of love that exist in our everyday lives.

We focus on “the one,” but what about the rest of the happenings that are occurring in our atmosphere?

Generally romantic love takes precedence, and we shield ourselves from all other loves that can and do exist….

There is familial love, friendship love, paternal love, unrequited love, love for past lovers, love for strangers, love for our community and the greater humanity and all beings on the planet, love for God/universal power, and even love for the present moment.

Sometimes, all it takes is one particular person to open us up to receive and share love with others.   Other times we have been damaged by love, and build barriers to not allow others in.  But can we be vulnerable to allow the varieties of love into our lives again? Are our hearts open?

Are our minds available to catch love when we see it occurring? Do we have the attention to feel love in another’s gaze, smile, or sacred moment even if we do not express the words to another or share a kiss?  Can we feel the love as a stranger offers to open a door for us or grins at our dogs when we are taking them for a walk?

As I was listening to the podcast, I couldn’t help but tear up for the beauty that exists in love…There’s so much negativity in the news that is shared, but these acts of love occur everyday.  Notice them, welcome them, and share it.

For Longing

Poem by John O’Donohue

blessed be the longing that brought you here
and quickens your soul with wonder.

may you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

may you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

may the forms of your belonging – in love, creativity, and friendship –
be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.

may the one you long for long for you.
may your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

may a secret providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.

may your mind inhabit your life with the sureness
with which your body inhabits the world.

may your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.

may you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
may you know the urgency with which God longs for you.


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