How Do I Know What Love Is?

Since it’s Valentine’s Day this Wednesday, it must be the ideal time to muse on the subject of love.

So let me ask you – what would you tell me if I asked for your definition of love? Everyone’s going to say something a little different because the meanings are based on our perceptions of the stories of our lives. Let’s face it – love is a messy word.

Because of this I like using the word appreciate in place of love. What appreciation really means to me is acceptance that is without conditions. Ah – that feels good to me. How about you?

Contemplating appreciation this week and what I wanted to say about it took me places I wasn’t expecting – to a surprise moment or two.

Appreciation, love, whatever we choose to call it has to start with me, with you. How well can we give something we don’t have? So you ask, it really all starts with self-appreciation? I believe it does. As I was reflecting on the path of self-appreciation, this dawned on me — when we truly live in a state of appreciating, we leave no aspect of ourselves out of it.

It seems to me that the place to start is with appreciation for the creation of our very beingness – this unique creation that we are.

Contemplate for a moment the intricacies of our bodies – the design and all the parts of it working harmoniously together to physically house this mind and spirit that we are — what a creation – what a miracle!

I have to call it a miracle because how it was made and has worked for me all these years is light-years beyond my comprehension. And yet, for the most part, have I not spent more time judging the body and mind and spirit than appreciating the gifts that they are? Is it possible that I may have even stunted the beauty of this creation with some of my thoughts about it?

From this introspection I jumped to looking at all the blessings and bounty that surround us. From the endless varieties and colors in nature, to the genius minds that created the conveniences we enjoy, to winks and smiles and laughter, and on and on and on.

Why are we not more conscious that our very beingness is a miracle – a gift — and experience appreciation for ourselves?   Why do we take the gifts of our life for granted? It then occurred to me that the right question isn’t about taking the gifts for granted.

The question is, “why do we not fully receive these abundant gifts around us?” They are everywhere and yet we are so often oblivious to them. Could it be because we are harboring a belief of unworthiness? That because we feel undeserving we are therefore not aware and do not allow ourselves to receive?

Here is the conclusion that came to me: Yes, the place to start is with appreciation for our beingness – the body, mind and spirit, the I am.

As we learn to let self-acceptance penetrate deep within us, and as we appreciate the miracle of creation that we are — our sense of our worthiness will expand. We then will be aware of and become open to receive more and more of the miracles surrounding us everyday. We will experience feelings of joy. In fact I am certain that living in a state of joy will become an oft experienced state of being.

Now this is a kind of  love I am ready to commit to!


  1. Mary Ann on February 12, 2018 at 12:32 am

    So beautifully stated!!!

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