St Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2021

St. Valentine’s Day.  A day we celebrate love; the wonder of the human heart, and the feeling body. The mystery of it.

It seems to me, that perhaps we have forgotten how to wonder and how to make room for mystery.

We are such complex creatures, capable of great courage, love, and kindness. And we are equally capable of great destruction. In fact, put into very challenging circumstances, none of us know how we might behave.

Just like our minds, our hearts learn through experience.  To be a human being requires a certain trust in keeping our hearts and minds open, vulnerable, and uncertain. This is not easy when we feel fear and uncertainty, when we feel attacked or isolated. We are fragile human beings and to be open to self and other requires courage, love, and practice.

Mindfulness helps with this journey, ever asking us to remember, through connecting to the breath, in sensing the physical body and by being aware of thoughts and emotions. When we acknowledge the full landscape of our experiences, we know what it is to be present and what that invites us to do, which is to be present. In this way, we are reminded to visit and rest inside a compassionate, wise heart and mind; to re-making those connections, again and again because, well, we forget.  In this process of recalling, we soften the hard edges of protection, bringing us out of separateness and into connection with life, it’s changes, its struggles and challenges, its joys and grief.  

  Passion, Gunilla Norris 
  
 Because passion is an expression of love, 
 it encompasses suffering as well. 
 Love and suffering are always intertwined. 
  
 When we suffer what is truly ours to suffer, we move 
 into union with ourselves. We want this experience
 of love, and we are afraid of it.
  
 On some level, we know that the true meaning 
 of suffering is found in allowing each moment to be
 what it is, remaining open to the vastness 
 -the life – that wants to move through us.
 Where, but in silence, can we be present enough
 to witness that urge of life within?
  
 We discover these depths through silence, stillness, 
 and the simple act of being attentive with others. 
 As we enter into exquisite awareness of the life
 that wants to live as us, we learn to love deeply.
 We claim our passion.  

On this day of love, let me sit quietly wishing for myself and others, happiness, love, safety, freedom from harm, and wellness.  Can I reach into the depth of my heart and claim my passion for love?  Can I answer that invitation?