Valentine's Day can create a whole range of emotions. Perhaps you are in a wonderful relationship and it's a time to celebrate together. (I'm excited for you! I hope you celebrate well today.) Or perhaps relationships have brought a great deal of heartbreak for you. (I'm sorry and I hope you have someone who will cry with you.) Or maybe love has been more a mix of the lonely, awkward, and uncomfortable - than good and beautiful. (Sorry it's so messy. I hope you find people to laugh and cry with.)
When I think about love stories I am reminded of acting. Over the years I've had the chance to be involved in telling some amazing love stories. And I love a good love story. These times have been reminders that life can hold immeasurable beauty. But what I've seen in telling these stories is that even if my own relationships have been bad or non-existent I still have a choice. I can still be a part of telling love stories. And maybe they aren't the love stories we imagine for ourselves. But I do believe we have a choice to join in creating and telling love stories no matter how messy, broken, or bitter our own hearts may feel. And though we might not be able to change the circumstances of our lives - we always have a choice in how we will respond. It's not always my first choice or an easy choice, but I keep trying to choose Love. And that's why I need great love stories - to remind me that the choice is worth it.
So for today - wherever your heart may be - consider joining me in helping tell a great love story. Everyone can take part!
So this is what I'm doing today....
I often think of my creative process sort of like a magpie, a bird that collects lots of random crazy stuff and then brings it back to its nest and makes something with it. So I've collected a number of different love poems/stories/text and put them together. It's my way of choosing to tell stories of love. I tried to select from around the world - because I believe love stories cross cultures and all the walls we put between us as people. So this is my practice of reminding myself to choose love, inspired by a great organization.
And the inspiration for today comes from the Preemptive Love Coalition. They are an organization working in areas of the world where the idea of love is the last thing people think of when they hear stories of where they are working. But their message of love in the face of fear is inspiring.
So I hope you will join me in supporting Preemptive Love today - so we can all be a part of telling something the whole world needs - and that's great love stories.
Here's what you can do:
1. Visit Preemptive Love's site and read their stories.
2. Share their work with your family or friends. I think most of us could do with some news that shares something other than violence with the world.
3. Send them a note of encouragement. I know how much words of encouragement - in the form of letters, or a quick note on social media, or in person can mean. So consider sending them a note to encourage them in their work today.
4. Donate to their work.
I do hope you are having a day filled with love. But even if it's a crappy day - I hope you will join me. For I have found that diving into good love stories is good for the hard days and lonely days.
Text Taken from the following Sources:
Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Love by Pablo Neruda
I Will Pronounce Your Name by Leopold Sedar Senghor
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
Touched by an Angel by Maya Angelou
You are so Lovely by Kim Yong-taek
Deerskin by Robin McKinley
The Love of Which I Speak by Juma Bhalo
Music - "November" by Bensound.com )