Feeling the love

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and whatever your views on it, it’s a time that gets us considering love in its various forms of expression. If you have a particular people in your life who are special, it’s a wonderful blessing worth cherishing every day. And while love is something you can have, it’s also something you can be, through living in your heart and embodying a love that radiates outwards.

This love develops through our ability to honour and cherish ourselves as we really are. Many of us are conditioned not to love ourselves – to find faults in our appearance or personalities and to constantly berate our imperfect actions. It can be such a tough undertaking to love, honour and respect ourselves. But when you consider that we are the one person we must live with our whole lives, what a kinder, happier place it would be if we could make peace within our hearts and finally accept who and what we truly are.

For me, the healing path of self-acceptance has been through learning to follow my heart. We often quash our heart’s desires through rationalizing, or by immersing ourselves in distractions, activities and commitments. But the heart’s needs are still there, quietly pulsating underneath all of the layers we heap on top of it. When you finally break through all the suppression and denial, you may find a tiny voice crying for attention and yearning to be expressed.

This year, I have decided to try a new approach by following the maxim: ‘What the heart wants, the heart gets.’ It’s been a bumpy ride so far, to say the least, as my mind is a powerful task master and doesn’t like being overruled by the seemingly flighty whims of the heart, but I’m persisting with it.

I have the most success when I’m out in nature, which is my passion, while my mind grumbles as I drag my bike over ice and mud to reach a special place, but the outcome never disappoints. This week alone, following my heart, I happened once upon a beaver and another time, a snowy owl – two rarer sightings in a big city. The joy and abundance of being in the presence of such creatures makes the battle to follow my heart its own reward.

Following your heart and loving yourself are undertakings that take time, patience and practice, and can often involve a lot of pain, confusion, doubt, anxiety as well as conflict that seems hard to resolve. Sometimes living authentically may feel like a very lonely path. But I strongly believe that the more you can honour yourself and your heart’s desires, the more you can build a purer world around you, and bring more love, beauty and joy into your life.

We are all capable of embodying love, which in turn, can only attract more love and a more sustaining peace, with the capacity to carry you through February fourteenth and each and every day beyond.

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