Friday, 18 December 2015

The Mindfulness of Love

This post encourages you to ask yourself what love, in its implicit sense, means to you. Can love be implicit, or is it more fragmented, than that?
Suppose I declare: “I love chocolate”. But when I really think about it, it isn’t the chocolate I love: it’s the sugar rush I experience whilst eating it. It’s the moment I allow myself to sit quietly and relax whilst I am enjoying the sugar rush. It’s the reward I give myself, like I’ve given myself that permission to enjoy the chocolate. It isn’t the chocolate itself. This might be a different experience to the next person, but it is my perspective.
So do I love chocolate? Maybe; but not as much as I love listening to the radio on my way to work. But when I think about it, it isn’t the person on the radio or the music that I love, it’s the act of driving and being quiet that I love. It’s the time spent alone with my thoughts, peppered with music and conversation that I love.
So, do I love listening to the radio? Maybe; but not as much as I love running. I LOVE running. I have to run to feel human, again. Running gives me headspace, time to meditate, time to listen to the radio (and sometimes reward myself with a little chocolate, afterwards). Running makes me feel happy and relaxed.
Yes, I love running. But I love nursing, too: I love coming to work. Seriously, I do. It helps me forget about any negative stuff going on in my life; I get to meet all sorts of different people from all walks of life; to me, nursing is an art where it is a constant project of learning to understand others, help alleviate symptoms or pain, help to make someone better, as well as have the privilege of sharing some of the most personal experiences of someone’s life, with joy, happiness or sadness and grief. There is little in life more rewarding than seeing someone come into hospital ill and in need of help, and leave with a smile on their face, fit and ready to carry on with their life. It is the same with my reiki and my mindfulness work. I feel such gratitude and love for the work I am lucky enough to do – and be paid to do it!
I love my children. They are the biggest, most love-inducing, intoxicating part of my life. I live and breathe for them. I will walk to the ends of the earth and back for them. Who wouldn’t do the same for their own children? My children are funny, silly, clever, annoying, talented, argumentative and unconditionally loving towards me. No matter what mood I’m in, they can snap me into a smile just by the things they say or do. Their hugs, our chats, the singing and dancing, their little notes telling me “I love you” or  their paintings and drawings show me that I am so lucky to have them in my life. They love life from moment to moment and at full speed. My family and friends carry the same significance to me.

And finally, I love myself. There is nothing wrong with saying this. In fact it is crucial for the rest to fall into place. If I didn’t, I couldn’t enjoy and treasure everything that is my life. My life is made up of these loves and joys. If it wasn’t, I couldn’t be happy. If I didn’t love myself, I couldn’t love my life the way I do. I have my off days, I have the days when I have to search a bit deeper to find that love and joy, but it is always there. I believe that without that love for myself, other aspects in my life carry less meaning. I nurture myself and  others. It’s what I do. Nurturing the love within means that everything else can grow, too.

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