Monday, February 16, 2009

All You Need Is Love

Nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.
It’s easy…
All You Need Is Love.
–John Lennon


Being a writer requires us to incorporate many character traits. Persistence, patience, enthusiasm, and dedication are just a few. Rarely though, do we consider one of the most vital of all qualities.

Love.

As I’m writing this in the light of the most romantic of holidays, Valentine’s Day, what better time to explore this most elusive and yet vulnerable quality of being?

For many a romance writer, love is the stuff dreams are made of. Deep down most people yearn for a happily-ever-after, and heartfelt stories satisfy that craving. So how does this apply to writers and even people in general?

Love is the most essential quality of life. Whether it’s applied to our tastes (I love grapes) or yearnings (I love to travel), love is part of our everyday world. Yet often we push ourselves so much we’re barely getting by. Commitments, responsibilities, obligations, and worries, all suck up our precious moments and challenge our ability to maintain a semblance of balance. For writers, there’s deadlines and queries, edits and of course, the dreaded synopsis, all necessary aspects of our career which can leave us wrung out and feeling more despair than hope.

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. --Mother Teresa

For couples, it’s natural to utilize counseling and for parents, endless advice exists on how to maintain a loving bond. However each of us needs a solid relationship with the person we must live with every day of our lives—Our Self.

"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." –Buddha

It’s so easy to encourage others, to offer up words of cheer and support, yet when we look in the mirror, we avert our eyes. We may grumble about our bodies or compare ourselves unfavorably to others. We bemoan every miniscule error and seize each mistake as proof of our general unworthiness. The real question here is, would we do this to a friend? For most of us the answer is a resounding No! Of course, we wouldn’t. Which leads to this question, when we did stop being our own best friend?

It's me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
~Paula Cole, "Me," This Fire

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” –Lucille Ball

Here’s an exercise I encourage everyone to try. Go to a mirror and say the three magic words. I Love You. Say it and mean it! Gaze into your eyes and connect with your soul. Some may feel an initial resistance. The self-criticisms that have for years fallen automatically from our lips might crowd in. Be patient with your heart. For many of us, the lonely vessel has taken a beating over the years. Focus on YOU and say it again.

I Love You.

There’s a special rush of exhilaration as the words sink in. Sometimes even tears well up. Let them. This is your precious moment with your true self. The first step. Take a moment to thank your wonderful legs for walking and those incredible arms for lifting and carrying. *smile* Now, one uncomfortable moment arises when those self-criticisms intrude, spitefully pointing out all the mistakes we inevitably make. Here’s the next step. Focus on your reflection and say:

I Love You No Matter What. I Forgive All Your Mistakes. I Love You.

“I must learn to love the fool in me the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries.” –Theodore Rubin from Love me, Love My Fool, 1976

Love, love, LOVE. It makes the world go ‘round, after all. *grin* Let’s direct our affection to all the positive things we wish to embrace and wish to be.

I Love ME. I Love Being A Successful Writer. I Love Being Productive. I Love Achieving My Goals. I Love My Book!

A funny thing happens when we frame our thoughts in a network of love. A sparkly, glowing light infuses our brain. This isn’t just speculation. Research has proved that love triggers different regions in our cerebral cortex. Scans actually do “light up” and chemicals triggering euphoria are released. Love is a potent tool and by Jove, let’s utilize it.

“Birds do it, Bees do it, even Educated Fleas do it. Let’s do it, Let’s fall in love!” –Cole Porter

This week, our focus is to enrich not only our writing but our lives with the power of love. For the next seven days, let’s do our mirror exercise. We’ll reinforce our self-love activity with positive Love statements. No matter what the task, we can approach it with the spirit of love. Maybe it’s silly, *laughs* so let’s embrace silly! Let’s be giddy and goofy and exuberant. I Love to Write! I Love Me!

“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?” –Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert, 1960

The power of love is miraculous. Inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi are these words: Know Thyself. I’m going to add: Love Thyself.

With self-love, we can accomplish anything. We can climb any mountain, overcome any obstacle. Of course, we still need persistence, patience, enthusiasm and dedication. *wink* However, when we infuse our lives with love, an amazing energy bubbles up. Where before we felt grim, now our hearts are light. The weight of despair dissipates and a new hope buoys us up.

The smile you offer to your Self in the mirror is reflected back. It becomes easier to smile at others and to feel everlasting confidence. We all need to be our own best friend.

"I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time." --Anna Freud

My goals for the week:

I love doing edits for Sidekicks.
I love fleshing out the story and characters of my WIP.
I love doing my physical therapy exercises.
I love writing my weekly essay.
I Love Me!!

How’s about you?

Two more quotes, just because... *smile*
Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” ~Peter Ustinov

“Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Smiles to you all,

6 comments:

Tamela Quijas said...

You are fabulous, as always. You made my heart go into my throat and that horrible mist fill my eyes with your wonderful words...

Sandy said...

Love ya, Chiron. Great post.

Hugs and love,
Sandy

Chiron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chiron said...

Aw, Tamela,

Bless your heart. I'm glad the essay struck the right chord with you...

Smiles and hugs,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Sandy,

Thanks so much!

Smiles and hugs,
Chiron

Anonymous said...

This is the area I struggle the most with. I really appreciate your wit and wisdom. You are so right to take Valentine's Day and remind us to turn it inward and love ourselves. Thank you, for being you and reminding me to love me. love, Cathy