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What's Love Got to Do With It?

It’s February, and yes, I’m going to touch on love, but not the brand promoted by Valentine’s Day. Love is a feeling, yes, and a cultural concept - and it is also a perception. Take a look below at Guido da Vigevano’s depiction of the heart from his 1345 book, “Art of the Cadaver.” Assuming the human heart still has the shape it did in the Middle Ages, interesting that Guido studied the heart and depicted those muscles to look much like the graphic heart we all know today.

Is that what he saw? Or what he perceived? It is a simple and accessible image, and it captured something appealing.


I like to think of love as a portal to greater perception, like suddenly getting glasses after years of only seeing what is right in front of your face. Love is a vibration, a constant, waiting for us to get on and take the ride. Think of it streaming by over your head, waiting for you to reach up and grab on. Like surfing, though, you need get in that water and make effort to get on that wave in order to ride that glorious ride.


We are so conditioned that love comes in pairs, we forget love is available to us all ways and always. Like Guido's heart, here’s a simple and accessible way to reach up and take that ride every day, no matter what is going on. Look around you, really look. Start listing what you love. The color of the sky right before a storm. The temperature of your tea. The sound of children giggling. Funk music. Leave others out of it for a while. Then expand your love circle a bit. Dare to love things that move you, make you smile, make you feel present and good about life. Dare to love qualities in yourself, your sense of humor, your ability to make sense of numbers, your gentleness. Dare even further to love some things about your physical self, your strong teeth, your hearing, your sturdy feet. Make long lists, on paper, or as you sit in traffic, or stand in line. Love the color of that woman’s shoes, the way the light comes in the bank window, how well that person expressed themselves. Mentally or verbally declare, “I love this.”


If you are in crisis, find something, anything to love, let it unfold in all its complexity and love the heck out of it. As Mr. Rogers used to say, “Find the helpers.” I love that I live so close to a hospital, this nurse who is so attentive to me, I love that I am warm under this blanket. I love the boots on the ground, the aid workers, the techies that make all this communication possible. I love that these first responders were here so fast.

It is not pushing away the critical nature of any situation, it is opening possibilities. In my experience, using this tool brings solutions we never thought of – because thinking tends to recycle what has been done before. New ideas ride in on waves of perception from our soul – and soul speaks the language of love. And what you notice, what rides in on your love wave is different from anyone else, and it matters, enormously. Of this, I am certain.


As I always say, don’t believe me, try it for yourself. If you try it, you will see – and maybe even perceive.




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