The L in LAF is for Love

L is for Love

A couple of years ago, I adopted the mantra LAF.  The cover art for this episode depicts the L and the F disguised as butterflies with a motorcycle helmet for the A. I still plan to get a simplified version of that, like a pencil sketch, tattooed somewhere on my person.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day – its seems like an opportune time to talk about love – which comes in many forms. Today – the natural leap is to romantic love and also to honouring those special people in our lives which whom we share a deep and meaningful connection. It’s an emotion exhibited by different intensities and flavours – all of them important. Romantic love, brotherly love, parent-child love, love of friends, love of ideals, and lets not forget love for animals – alive and well judging by the number of critter pictures that I see on social media.

How we talk about love

The Beatles wrote about it “All You Need is Love”, “Love Actually” came to the screen to show us the intertwinement of various forms of love in day to day life.  I recently watched Mandy Len Catron’s TedTalk entitled “A Better Way to Talk About Love” from November 2015. It was interesting as she pointed out the ways that we perceive love that are a result of cultural conditioning and biology. She says “So, in love, we fall. We’re struck. We are crushed. We swoon. We burn with passion. Love makes us crazy, and it makes us sick. Our hearts ache, and then they break. So our metaphors equate the experience of loving someone to extreme violence or illness.” I would add to that that we live in a world where people do horrible things in the name of love. Love is sometimes a misguided defense for our actions.

I remember my younger years when I endured all sorts of complete disrespect because I was “in love”. As if Love is a sufficient defense to treat others horribly. But the thing is, we teach people how to treat us. And if we let them act without respect, we are devaluing ourselves and we allow it to continue.

Instead, try this…

Catron proposes instead that we change our language around love and suggested that “Love is a collaborative work of art”. I like that. It removes the victim status and makes us co-creators. With that kind of power – we can choose and contribute to what is evolving. And I would suggest that love is much richer and more satisfying once we figure out how to love and respect ourselves. Once we feel secure in who we are – we can invite others to share our experience and allow them to contribute.

So, for Valentine’s Day – start with you. How you can you love yourself today? And, once you’ve honoured that – how can spread the love far and wide? Let’s make that go viral – our world could use a little more of that lately. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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