To love means being 100 percent responsible for your experience of living, to not be a victim or a martyr, and to be 100 percent accountable for the quality of your life, which includes the amount of love, joy, and growth you create in your relationships each day.
To love is the ability to remain strong, stable, and committed through difficult times, changes, and challenges. It means being gentle, kind, and supportive of your potential, goals, and aspirations.
~ Harold Bloomfield
If you’ve been following me for a while (over at Life in the Bogs, and then here), you may (or may not) recall that at the beginning of each year, I pick a word or phrase for the year. I’ve been doing this for many years, and it’s something that helps me learn throughout the year. Sometimes I learn that I picked the wrong word, but more often than not, I gain knowledge of what the word or phrase truly means.
In my post last December titled Be The Change, I wrote:
Recent events, including the holiday weekend with my family, have me rethinking my word or theme for the upcoming new year. Love is the word. Everything else seems to spring from that. Change made from a place of love, in my experience, sticks better than change made from fear, loathing, or a sense of obligation.
Little did I know what Love had in store for me when I picked that word. One major test was moving from a place I love to a place I am just beginning to get to know. I have had to stretch, a lot, to look at my new home from a place of love. Because yes, there have been times when I thought to myself, “I hate this place!” Usually I’m being swarmed by deer flies or mosquitoes, or sweating profusely from the heat and humidity, when that happens.
This year I have been schooled in all sorts of love, but the one that brought about this post today is finding a love of (and for) self. I have discovered that loving myself leads to caring for myself in the most basic of ways. Things that I struggled with (such as weight loss) are suddenly becoming almost effortless once I learned to care enough to take care of myself.
With love comes joy and gratitude and magic. I think the miracle in all of this is the timing. I started with the year-long challenge to practice seated meditation daily. Now that I think about it, all of the challenges of the past three years (the outdoor challenge, the yoga challenge, and the meditation challenge) have built a foundation for where I am today. The meditation in particular has brought me home, in a way, to Love. It allowed me to work from the inside out. (The meditation challenge, by the way, will be completed next month.)
I wish I had better words to describe all this. The best I can do is try to show you through my images. I think I am expressing more love through my photography lately. It’s something I think about now when I’m out with my camera. I want to see through the eyes of my soul and my heart. I don’t always accomplish it, but I try.
Once you have found yourself
and accepted your aloneness,
then the greatest blessing is to share
the love that arises within you.
Each new moment presents
the richest opportunity to be loving.
And you can share love
in the simplest of ways.
Be soft and gentle.
Be caring and kind.
Be loving in an ordinary way,
without any sense
of wanting anything back,
Life offers you
the most precious gift.
The gift of allowing you
to be present and share love.
~ Leonard Jacobson
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. And while you’re at it, have a great weekend!