What’s love got to do with it? Well, frankly everything.

We wander our way through life feeling moments of joy, days of happiness, a sloshing of love, four hundred meters of confidence and then BAM you can’t seem to find it. It was there when you woke up yesterday and even when you went to bed.

And then today, according to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and all the freaking smiling people in spin class, they all have it and you don’t; you can’t even find an emoticon on your iphone that can project how totally crappy and unloved you feel today. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is illegal to post anything but shear joy on those sites.

How can this be and how do I get my mojo back, fast, because this feeling just isn’t one I am up for today. Or maybe it is all ok. Is there something that I can have, right now that will make me feel ok to feel not ok?  Hint: four letters, rhymes with dove.

Maybe what makes us feel loved or worthy or, my favorite, vulnerable, is the same as what makes us feel fear or shame or generally like a flipping loser.  Ok, yes there are many studies about who feels worthy and why and I completely idolize Brene Brown but right now I really need this feeling of crappy panic misery ‘ishness’ (not a medical diagnosis, but it darn well should be) to go away. I need to wake up and figure it out fast before the day really gets away from me. Because, be real, we are busy people who need to get it all done so we can relax.  

I have been deeply loved in my life, and I have been deeply hurt, I have even loved others deeply and hurt the ones I loved (gee, has that happened to you before? No? Liar.) Oh, and then there was the one I wanted to love but they couldn’t love me back for some ridiculous reason that they couldn’t explain.  That one really sucked. And how about the friend that was your BFF but decided to Un-BFF you? How does that happen? What happened to there being no weakness in forgiveness? Darn we are all so weak that it’s sort of endearing. Let’s capture and embrace it like a big sunflower patch. Are you throwing up yet?

Maybe that’s it; we need to embrace the weakness. Our weakness. Be the golf ball with dimples missing from the twenty trees you hit, all on the front nine; be the squirrel who forgot where he hid his nuts and can’t admit it to his pals; be late and just tell them the truth that you really wanted a Frappuccino™; tell the person who gets in the elevator that no, it was not your dog who farted.

Laugh at your weaknesses, embrace who you are, actually embrace your weaknesses since you are the one who put a label to them. We need to embrace the gift of love no matter how small or how big it is. Hug your dog, smile at a stranger, pay for the woman’s coffee behind you, be grateful for your friends even if you only have one.

So, what’s love got to do with it?


But first you need to learn that there is an order inherent in this action called love. First you have to start with yourself, once you start loving yourself you can give it away like a bottomless bowl of popcorn. Just keep sharing it and never worry if you get any back because heck, you already have an endless bowl. Maybe the guy next to you will even give you some of his sour patch kids (which by the way are fantastic in popcorn) but if not, no big deal because, well, you have popcorn.

Perhaps you think this is a stupid blog on self-love, and maybe it is, but it would be the same blog if I substituted a feeling like fear, anger, insecurity, or jealousy; except, who needs those? Those feelings are also learned but why waste time on that education. If we are born with none of these and we work so hard to learn them then I choose to put more of my education in love and not the rest of that, not-so-fun stuff.  

Here is the scenario; you wake up and your body feels great, you slept well, you feel clear headed and calm. Then what?  Most likely you will have a good day because “where the mind goes energy flows” right?

Ok, again we need this to be a lot simplier, because we just don’t wake up that often with all that good stuff going on. At minimum if we wake up and think, I love me, no matter what I love me. Actually right now I am writing and screaming “I love me” and I scared the dog and he bit me, but it was out of love, I think. I digress, I love me, then guess what, I can love you. As a matter of fact I have no idea who you are but I can honestly say, “I love you”.

So yes, love has a lot to do with it.  How do we get there?  Plant the seeds.  Start today. We live our lives fighting fires, we weed our gardens only to find another weed popped up. What can we plant instead? Ahhhhh, now that is the deep question. But again, let’s start real simple, ok?  Look in the mirror; better yet write it on your mirror in hot red lipstick (yes especially you guys), “I LOVE ME”.

If doing that is too hard, then start small. Check out yourself on your way to work in the rear view mirror, just at stop lights, start small; give yourself a wink. You are pretty darn cool. Love is pretty darn cool. 

Now go give it away like popcorn.

It’s not broken, it just needs rearranging.

My grandmother told me you can’t die of a broken heart. But I never got to ask her if you could die after several broken hearts. She also said that you could only cry over something for 24 hours and then you needed to stop it and move on. I never got to ask her if the 24 hours applied to broken hearts or anything in general.  There is a big difference and I am heartbroken that she is no longer around to ask the answer.   

When she was sick she would put on multiple nightgowns (at once), put a pile   next to her bed, drink tea, honey and whiskey; crawl under a mountain of blankets and “sweat it out”. Sweat, change the nightgowns, sweat some more, drink more homeopathic brew and repeat the process.  The key in the process was to leave her completely alone.  No coddling, no helping, just leave her in peace. (And it was peaceful, she never complained.) Her bedroom had only three walls and the other wall was a long curtain that ran the length of the hallway, which was just over the open staircase. It sounds strange but it was all we knew so it seemed completely normal. It was probably a sitting room, which later became a bedroom as the family grew or guests took up space.  What it really meant was that you had to climb the creaky stairs carefully as not to disturb her. This was not easy.

Before we visited she baked, she cooked, she canned, she supplied an army of food even if it was just for my small four person family. I lost my grandfather when I was little so this process, in my life, was just one that she did alone and she seemed to love it. I sure did!

As I live my life, as do most, surrounded by people, technology and an endless to do list, sometimes I find myself in pieces. Then add something like a broken heart or confused mind, and the pieces seem to scatter like a bottle dropped on a craggy sidewalk. It doesn’t matter who agrees or disagrees with my emotions, doesn’t matter whose fault anything is, the emotions are mine; no one can really walk in another’s shoes. No one can ever truly know what is on your mind, nor can you know what they are thinking. It is all you; beautiful you.

Hence my Grandmother’s teaching in taking time alone to care for yourself finally makes sense to me. Be with yourself and no one else. You are the whole, you are the pieces, you are in charge of the rearranging. You may think that finding this time is impossible, but it is imperative to a human’s ability to feel whole again, to be creative, to be insightful, to do gre­­at things. It is the only way to get to the ocean of who we are and hear the wisdom that lies within; to find the knowledge and insight that we have stored away too deep to access in a fleeting moment.

The old adage “the answer lies within” is quite true.

This is where meditation and mindfulness for over thirty years has helped me at times keep my pieces all in one place and over time to be able to rearrange, reassess and recreate a life of wholeness. At the end of the day we are blessed to be surrounded by good people, but the best of those is you.

Thanks Grandma, I think I finally get it. 

We can all withstand many broken hearts, illnesses and tearful moments with a little time alone; be it in bed, in the kitchen or just writing it down.  

Meditation rocks as you can use it in small doses each day without having to lock yourself in your bedroom.  Of course if you do have the chance to escape for a few days alone … do it!