By Karin Leonard
Your life is based on
masterful and loving relationships – with yourself, with others in your
personal and professional life, with the world around you, and with the
sacred. Valentine’s Day, the Holy day of Love, offers the perfect
opportunity to reflect on the level of fulfillment in your relations.
An easy way to start: draw
a circle and divide it into five sections, labeling them:
myself, romance, community, environment,
and sacred. Now assign a
score from 1 - 10 for each section, according to how fulfilled you are in
that area of relationship. Immediately
you’ll see where you might want to invest a bit more for greater
Own Best Friend
In a time when the only
constant is change, the one relationship that will always
persevere is the one with your wonderful self.
So, how is your practice
of self-love? Are you harder
on yourself than anyone else ever could be? Think of one of your dearest
friends or family members. One that is close to your heart and who accepts
and loves you for who you are. Now,
are you at least that good to
yourself? Do you speak that kindly of and to you?
If you don’t support
yourself, it is unfair to expect others to do so. It’s never too late to
be caring to the most important person in your life…
Romantic love… how
wonderful it is when it works! And how painful when it doesn’t…
Why is it at times so difficult to be in love? It’s been said
that as we move towards love, all
that is not love comes up to be healed. Maybe the deep connection to
another makes it safe for unresolved issues of the past to surface. When
there is mutual willingness to support each other, loving relationships
can be a sacred space for becoming who we are meant to be. Healthy
relationship is a skillful dance between getting close to another – and
keeping our separate identity. Good
boundaries make it easier to open up without losing yourself. As we own
and respect feelings, make clear requests and honor agreements, the door
to sound intimacy opens. And don’t forget to have fun – if your
primary relationship brings more work than joy and drains your energy, it
may be time to take a closer look.
Nuclear families are no
longer the solid foundation of our culture, and many of us are left to
create support structures for ourselves. Whether it is at work or in our
personal life, developing social bonds means collaboration with others,
and sharing our skills, love and resources.
Hopefully, our relationships are based on mutual respect and
benefit, as we stretch to understand and enjoy differences, rather than
try to change everyone “out there”. It is so rewarding to think of
what we can give to our
community – rather than to focus on what we can get.
Generosity and gratitude make us realize the abundance of who we are –
and what a privilege it is to live in one of the most beautiful and
advanced places in the world.