I know Valentine’s Day is really commercialized but I am totally on board with the idea of cultivating more love. Anytime.
Love has the power to heal. Giving, receiving, and feeling love is powerful medicine.
Love is a state of being.
Love is passion, safety, devotion, scary, blissful, supportive, emotion, intimacy, compassion, eros, spiritual…this list goes on. And, I love chocolate means something different than I love my best friend or my dog or my…
But really in February, we are talking mostly about romantic love although I’m pretty sure I love chocolate works here too.
I ‘love’ (ha see how I did that) this definition from Monica Berg author of Rethink Love “Love is the nourishment that humans need to fulfill their greatness.”
Love is nourishment. It feeds us. We thrive and grow with it. We crave it. We are love.
But, sometimes we don’t feel loved or loving. Our hearts are wounded. We feel separate from love.
Why, if love is so great and powerful, are human relationships so challenging and difficult?
There is a gap between Absolute Love and Individual Love.
Absolute Love is love with a capital L. Love as the source of everything. In the yogic tradition, it is described as pure beingness, present everywhere and in everything. Absolute Love is the light that shines through us, from the ultimate source of all.
And sometimes in life, we get glimpses of this Great Love. With our lovers, our children, in nature, in meditation…
This Love is our deepest essence. It is the Love we are all made of.
Individual Love is Absolute Love filtered through our experiences as human beings.
We think that love comes and goes, it’s outside of us, we only feel it for certain people or there isn’t enough love to go around.
Our heart is blocked by fear and defensive patterns that have developed out of not knowing we are truly loved. And, it’s subject to loss, change, moods, and attachments so when we think of love we often think of suffering.
Ordinary human love is always relative, never consistently absolute.
But, it is the Great Love. Absolute Love is ALWAYS present in the background of our lives.
Mostly I think of Love as a Practice.
The more you love, the more love you get back. It’s a beautiful circle.
But the question is how to love more. Especially if you aren’t feeling it.
Just take a moment and ask yourself:
How can I give my best to myself and other people in spite of what I may be feeling at the moment?
How would things be if I really felt love right now instead of _________(crabby, resentful, angry, sad, disgusted, fear…)
It’s not exactly fake it till you make it, but it’s definitely a practice.
Simple Ways to Cultivate More Love
- You might not always feel gratitude but you can say thank you.
- You might not feel good about yourself all the time but you can practice giving yourself grace.
- You won’t always like everyone but you can treat them with compassion.
- Be grateful.
- Tell people you love them.
- Connect with people face to face.
- Be vulnerable and go for it anyway.
- Lead with your heart.
- Be true to yourself
- Give and receive positive physical touch, hug, kiss, cuddle, get a massage…
- Nourish yourself, you will have more to give if your cup is full.
And, of course, take herbs to open and nourish your heart.
Such a contradiction of a plant. Beautiful flowers and thorns.
Rose reminds you that life can be both/and instead of either/or.
She tells you that you can be both mighty and vulnerable. Delicate and firm. Tough and tender. Rose is the embodiment of softness and strength.
A symbol of love, Rose is a gentle but powerful medicine of the heart,
Rose can brighten your mood and remind you to give yourself a little love and share your love with others. She reminds you it’s time to allow for greater love in your life.
Use her to heal and open your heart.
Rose is an excellent herb for the cardiovascular system and the physical heart. Because Rose is astringent it can also be used for wounds, loose teeth, canker sores, and diarrhea. As a wound healer, it helps with inflammation, binds the tissue together, and encourages healing.
She can compassionately unwind the stuck energy of old grief and old trauma. By using Rose, you can rise up from the path of thorns and grow and blossom into something beautiful.
More about Rose medicine here.
The leaf is heart-shaped. Hum, I wonder if it’s heart medicine?
Linden softens and opens the emotional body and is about connection and restoring the balance of giving and receiving. Heart.
According to Greek mythology, love and kindness are what the Linden tree is all about.
The tree of love. Sacred. Maternal, feminine, and goddess energy.
It helps you be in the here and now and release things trying to pull you back into the past. Linden gives you the feeling of being able to continue to love lost ones without pain, grief, and emptiness. Heart.
Linden helps you connect to something greater than yourself. Absolute Love,
On a physical level, Linden is of great help to people with cardiovascular issues. It can be used for mild high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and heart palpitations brought on by stress. It combines well with other herbs like Hawthorn to nourish the heart.
Linden flowers can help relax the body, soothe the mind, and assist with insomnia, anxiety, depression, and muscle tension. It has been known to ease spasms, menstrual cramps, and migraines.
“Embrace the plant’s healing; for it is a rare gift that transcends the mind and speaks only to the heart.” ~Healing Flower and Tree Essences of Ireland
The herb of the lionhearted. A plant that works on the physical, emotional, and spiritual heart.
Motherwort has a strong connection to women and mothers and is a plant of protection.
The energy of Motherwort builds inner trust and confidence. She helps us let go of old fears and shock and trauma that have settled into the emotional heart.
Motherwort reminds you that your heart is connected to Absolute Love and helps you find peace and quiet and relax into the moment. She can help you bring forth your heart’s desires.
This is a very bitter herb but she reminds you not to avoid the bitter things in life but to transform them into something sweet. This also makes her helpful for digestion.
Motherwort can move stuck tension in the heart or in the womb. It is used to support the cardiovascular system and bring the heart back to its natural rhythm especially if you have a lot of excess stress. Motherwort combines beautifully with Hawthorn to steady the heart.
Motherwort nourishes the cardiovascular system overall. She can also help calm nervousness, restlessness, irritability, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
As a women’s herb, she is helpful for PMS symptoms, bloating, and cramping. In menopause, Motherwort is useful for hot flashes and emotional reactivity, you know the kind of behavior that makes people want to tiptoe around you or stay away from you altogether. It supports the liver so it can help with hormonal fluctuations and those crazy mood swings.
Listen to your heart. You can help forge a new path, a more heart-centered way of being in the world. All it takes is a desire to transform, heal and nourish with the power of ABSOLUTE LOVE.