Head over Heels (February 2011)

In my first- ever February blog, it seems only appropriate to hit on one of the main thing we celebrate & stress over in this fine month: LOVE. Four letters that we toss around casually until we really mean them and then we plot out the perfect moment to say them, or sometimes, they just slip out at the spur of the moment. 

          I love cooking. I love this music. I love you. 

 As anyone who has ever been in love (or even “in like”) knows, it isn’t easy. There is a reason people refer to falling head over heels into love. And if it’s not the rush that has you floating high, it is the complete security and steadiness that often takes people by surprise and freaks them out even more. 

                 Head over heels. On cloud nine. High on love. 

One prominent image of love is a little cherub who flies around the sky shooting people with arrows. Everything in pop culture invokes images of airy, light feelings that are very heady. In all these cliches we lose the place of a major balance to love: grounding. 

In yoga, before heart openers, we ground ourselves to find a sense of self and balance. We root into the ground before reaching up to the sky. How might our relationships be different if before we exposed and opened ourselves to another we really truly sank into the goodness and strength of our own being? 

And not being in love? It can be just as stressful as being in love. Do you or don’t you want to be in a relationship? What is keeping you from the relationship? Just because you “decide your are ready” doesn’t mean Mr. or Ms. right will simply land on your doorstep. Beyond certain ages- that time when all of your friends are getting married, committing, and having babies- the pressures, whether imposed by yourself or your family, start to build up.

This Valentine’s Day I am not raging against love, I am not saying that only those who are spending the day alone and hating on the mush and “hallmark commercialism” of the day have caught the true spirit, or that those who go all out with a special dinner or gesture have it right either. I am a firm believer in love and both the agony and ecstasy it can bring to ourselves and our relationships. 

I am suggesting that, in the words of Maya Angelou, “We need to remember and teach our children that solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone, at times it is positively to be wished for.”  How much more deeply and truly can we love when that love comes flowing from the depths of knowing ourselves in solitude and afterwards, being willing to share of ourselves with another.