Human beings are relational creatures. We are born into tribes, families and groups. We go to schools with others, we play with peers as children and adults. Even those who prefer to be solitary, still need to interact with other planetary dwellers. When our hearts and minds are open to sharing who we are with those we encounter, we thrive. When they are shuttered as a result of fear, trauma, addiction, abuse, or plain and simple; poor role modeling, all manner of havoc breaks loose. Sometimes we are aware of our patterns and sometimes we are oblivious. That’s when it helps to have guides, mentors, therapists and teachers whose area of expertise is in the relationship realm.
Enter “It’s All About Relationships“; Vivid Life Radio’s latest show, debuting appropriately on Valentines’ Day. I’m the over the moon excited host of this weekly foray into the lush garden of heart to heart intertwining vines and vibrantly hued flowers. Airing from 8-9 pm est each Thursday night, it will highlight some of the most talented and wise movers and shakers in the field. Many have written books on the subject, each has a unique perspective to offer to our listeners. My first guest will be Christine Arylo, the author of Madly In Love With Me: The Daring Adventure of Becoming Your Own Best Friend. Going beyond self esteem, it touches on the deep and abiding relationship with the man or woman in the mirror. The day before our interview, she will be hosting The Self Love Concert www.selfloveconcert.com I encourage you to indugle in a double dip of Christine’s charming concepts that have the ability to counteract the often clamorous negative self talk that surrounds us.
This evening I was facilitating a support group for women in recovery from addictions and in preparation for the upcoming day that is generally only associated with love of another, we spoke about what constitutes self love and what gets in the way. Not surprisingly, they had more difficulty with the first part than the second. The limiting thoughts poured down like Niagra Falls while expression of amore took a bit of coaxing. I asked them a question that I often do and it had them scratching their heads and wondering what planet I hailed from. I queried “What if you knew that you were love incarnate?” I clarified by inquiring how they felt when their children were born. Each had the same answer, that their infants were ‘pure love’. I asked why then it would be any different for them. Because they had made choices that impacted on their lives and those they loved, then somehow they felt they were unworthy. Each has no problem with showering others with love, but put up big time resistance when it comes their way. I then used an analogy that I call Teflon Shield vs. Love Sponge. The purpose of Teflon is to be non-stick, so that food slides off and a sponge is meant to absorb and when it gets saturated needs to be wrung out. Too often, we have our shields up when it would benefit us to drink in and soak up the love and then share it with those in our lives. That they got. It wasn’t an easy sell, let me tell you. By the end of the evening, they still had their doubts, since they had so many years of indoctrination that told them they had to earn love and that it was a commodity to be traded for compliance, maintaining the status quo, offering caretaking, and self-sacrifice.
I then asked them to consider the concept that if indeed love was their true identity, then (like WWJD-What Would Jesus Do?), they could ask the question each day WWLD-What Would Love Do? And then do it. Listen in to the show and I can assure you that you will learn more than you ever imagined about this being whose purpose is to live the love that they are; that would be you.
One of my favorite songs that my mother would often sing to me is called Nature Boy; the chorus of which is “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” Such a powerful reminder of our birthright.
Nature Boy by Nat King Cole
More Inspiration from Edie:
There are some things I never imagined I would do, but necessity trumps protocol or sometimes even hygiene. The tale begins with an invitation to officiate at my first wedding in Central Park. Having been an ordained interfaith minister since 1999, the idea delighted me and felt a bit like a milestone event; maybe like singing at Carnegie Hall or kissing the Blarney Stone. The bride and groom are a lovely couple who I have known a short time; her best friend is a friend of mine. Since the ceremony was to be held outdoors with no Plan B, I put in my order for nice weather. Mother Nature gladly complied as the day dawned warm and sunny with a light breeze.