The #LoveSparks Superheros Shine On

I’m not sure I’m one for starting revolutions or movements, but I am deeply committed to community and the possibility for transformation born from connection, collaboration, communication, and compassion. And so I’m incredibly proud of the Love Sparks Blogging Festival taking place this week here at All is Listening.

To read the 40+ contributions to the Festival click here.

Marianne Elliott asks in her Love Sparks post, There is Nothing Fluffy About Love, what radical acts of unfluffy self-love we are practicing this Valentine’s Day. My act of unfluffy self-love yesterday was to listen to my deeply exhausted shattered body and sleep and rest as much as possible—even though I’d launched a love festival and part of me thought it my duty to read all the posts immediately, respond to everyone, and spend the whole day promoting the festival.

  • I was afraid that if I didn’t do this my blogging community would some how be hurt that I wasn’t acknowledging them or promoting them.
  • I was afraid while I was resting I was missing some valuable opportunity to promote my own work.
  • I was afraid if I simply took care of myself others would somehow abandon me.

But what is my own work if it isn’t rooted in my ability to turn to my vulnerable, scared, exhausted, vibrating, achy self and hold her, make her a hot water bottle, put her under the covers and assure her the Love Sparks Festival would be fine without her, everyone would be fine without her, but she wouldn’t be fine if she abandoned herself. And so I crawled back to bed.

And quietly between naps when my energy lifted a little I’d read another love post.

Not very many, but enough to be enchanted and delighted. Here are a few quotes from only a few of the many Love Sparks posts:

David Trotter writes in his post Pull the Weeds and Cultivate Love,

Intimacy isn’t cultivated via candlelight. It’s cultivated by allowing light to shine into my heart…revealing what’s truly going on inside of me.

Desiree Adaway in her post, Community as Love, writes that love is not about self-interest, but about self-acceptance,  and goes on to say, “It’s through falling in love with the world that I have fallen in love with myself.”

Dana Tommasino writes about being Enchanted:

There is food that creates exile, food that sparks love.  We live in the thick of this.  I say food that sparks love contains flora, flaws, fecundity.  It is food that sparks life. The world enchants us delightedly and enchants us to death. By all means let’s enchant, be enchanted, be enchantable this Valentine’s Day. Let’s make a hard feast of it, consciously, with all the knotty edges, all the dirt on the beet.

And well, Kelly Diels, not for the first time brought me to tears. In her post Love is Ugly she writes:

And somewhere between the pain and the percocet I realized: most of my emotional anguish comes from fighting what is.

I was in the ER. I was sick. I needed surgery. Nothing would change those immediate circumstances. I was fighting the wrong dragon. I was fighting reality.

Instead, what I ought to do was fight to be okay, right now, right where I was.

I told myself to accept the pain, to breathe, to feel every twinge of my battling body. I tuned in instead of trying to block it out. I marvelled at my own resilience. I suffered; I hurt; but I wasn’t fighting myself. I was fighting for myself.

Back to Marianne Elliott and my day in bed. Sometimes when I tell people I sleep late or have spent the day in bed they look at me with what I perceive as jealousy. They want a day in bed. They probably need a day in bed. I’m grateful I can take care of myself in this way, but it isn’t in fact easy. It would be easier to have abundant energy and jump up out of bed each day and go forth fully functioning into the world, but that isn’t my life. My life is to go one day at a time: celebrate the days of great energy and support the days of no energy and learn to trust in my ability to love all the days and darkness within no matter what. And to be vulnerable with myself and admit my vulnerabilities to others, even when I’m scared to admit it.

And trust that my community has my back.

Marianne Elliott writes:

Let’s be clear. Self-love is not the soft option.

Most of the time, for me anyway, the easy option would be to blend in: to hide aspects of myself, my vulnerability, and my power so that I’ll be liked by as many people as possible. The soft option would be to alter myself, subtly or otherwise, to fit in. But as long as I keep asking myself to fit in, as long as I reject the parts of myself that I find undesirable, I’m almost certainly going to be doing the same to other people.

I’m finding my way in this life. I walk in the dark most of the time.  I have insights into love-truths all the time, but then I forget them. And so I’m glad I have so many more Love Sparks posts to read to remind me again what it is to live love. Thanks to everyone who has written for and is reading the Love Sparks.

This is how we make community and make love.

Painting of me sleeping by Rosy Lamb.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marianne February 15, 2011 at 10:45 pm

And therein lies your truest leadership gift – modeling honesty, courage and love.

x
M

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Jasmine February 16, 2011 at 7:44 am

Thanks, Marianne.

This weekend teaching a group of teenagers we got to a point in the class where energy was flagging and their eyes were glazing over. I paused the challenging activity I was leading to check in, to acknowledge my concerns as I saw the class drift away from me. I felt momentarily lost at sea and totally vulnerable, but I’d cracked the door open so a student could come to me and complain, tell me how mad she was the class wasn’t what she expected. All of this was hard and yet without making space for this it may have been much harder to bring the class community back together.

We are all leaders. We are all impacting each others lives. As Jack Kornfield says in the quote on your post. “We are interdependent”. My capacity for courage, honesty, and love is expanded by your modeling of this also.

xo Jasmine

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