It's Valentine's Day. Whatever the fuck that really means,
but let's work with it and talk some heart.
Its official, I am surrounded by the most amazing people on the planet. The most amazing people that more often than not have me believing I am the most loved person on the planet. I hope I give you back at least half of the love you give me! .... Wait, I need to rephrase that because I don't mean 'Im so great, everyone that meets me loves me.' I'm definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Ha! Instead I feel like the most BLESSED person on the planet because my life is .... here comes the cheese..... wait for it...... an ocean of love. Good gawd! Did I just say that? I did. That happened. But it really feels like the best analogy, so just bear with me. ....Even as the waves roll out, my feet just sink deeper into the sand planting and preparing me to receive more. I came home from work to an amazing Valentine surprise from one of my best friends, T. It was so thoughtful and honoring of who I am and how he sees me that it was hard to take it in at first. Once I did though, my heart felt so full and I felt so energized that I had no choice but to go to a dance class! T, thank you for believing in me like you do!
It got me to thinking about why I'm gifted with this kind of ooey gooey fabulousness almost daily.... Why now in my life? Why me at all? ..... Because, baby's come a looooong way! AND because an infinite amount of love is available to everyone. Its just waiting for you to answer the door. BUT, the saying 'you can't truly love someone until you love yourself' is painfully true. I also believe that not only can you not give love , but you cannot truly RECEIVE love till you love yourself. That answers the 'why now in my life?' question. It took me 31 years but I finally fell in love with myself. I fell in 'like' with myself as I began planning my Eat, Pray Love trip in 2011. I became smitten as I boarded that first plane. That made it easier to honor myself and leave the hawrible experience at the first Italian farm. If I really think about it though, it was in Rome when I absolutely fell head over heels in love with the woman I'd become. I'd spent a weekend in Trastevere with a friend and then settled into my new neighborhood of Vatican City alone. It was my second or third day wandering the city, I didnt even need my map..... which is amazing because it was in those first few days that I finally learned how to even read one. I'm so not joking, sad I know. I was wearing my favorite long tie dyed skirt and walking the streets of Rome like I owned them. I mentioned this at the time but I felt my feet ground into the earth in a way they never had before. It was almost like I was finally IN my body and not hovering 6" outside of it. I was comfortable and confident. I felt strong and powerful, but soft and vulnerable. I was living my dream. I felt beautiful. And voila! I was in love. I remember making mention of several people stopping to take notice of me and/or ask me directions.... in Italian. I made a joke at the time that they must have just been disconcerted by the tie dyed, tattooed, crunchy granola hippie wandering their fine streets. Maybe that was still true for some, but I realize now they were mirroring back how I was feeling on the inside. The lovefest snow-balled from there and hasn't slowed since.
I was recently accused of being self-absorbed and ego-centric because of this very blog and Facebook. This 'friend' even chose to sever our relationship. I initially felt guilty and a little ashamed. I did make some FB adjustments, but the more I thought about it I realized I've worked damn hard to get to this place of self-acceptance and love and I shouldnt have to apologize for that. I used to not even really be able to look at myself in the mirror or when I did I saw 100 things I wanted to change. I was the High Priestess of Self Deprecation. Now I can receive a compliment and often times agree (on the inside). I see myself in the mirror now, and while I still curse the unfortunate genetics of the grey hairs that first appeared when I was 24, I smile and think 'Not too shabby.' ;-) Maybe I do have a 'healthier' or heartier relationship with myself than is preferable to some, but that is the Leo in me that also makes me a performer. Look, falling in love with yourself doesn't mean you think you are without flaws. I am well aware of my 'areas that need improvement'. I am constantly in self evaluation and I embrace that I am a work in progress..... Its just that now I can see that the work is a beautiful piece of art at each and every stage. The Clarity that I spoke about in my last post comes much easier and quicker once the Love part is in place. So how does one fall in love with oneself save traipsing around the world like I did? Push yourself. Step outside your comfort zone. Take the risk. Leap. However that looks for you......... When you don't let Fear control you, Love comes rushing in like a bullet.
I was rewriting my bio for Zion Dance Company and was struggling a bit with what to say and a friend (T, in fact) basically summed me up as a boisterous lovegasm who makes no apologies. Yep, seems about right. I'll take it!
The other thought I want to leave you with is about my recently acquired hobby of heart-ography shall we say? Or the 'Where's Waldo' of hearts? If you're not on Facebook, let me explain. Back in July and August when ZDC was traveling to Edinburgh I began seeing hearts EVERYWHERE! It started as soon as we landed in Amsterdam. It became quite comical actually. Every time I lagged behind, Rina and Kevin knew it was probably because of a heart. I believe those hearts were preparing me/leading me to 'Brighton'. *sigh. Anywho, since then I have honed my heart vision and still see them all around me. I have also inspired a few other people to start noticing them in their everyday. Once you open yourself up to see that first one, you will see that "Love, actually, is all around." See for yourself:
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!