Valentine’s Day.

open heart

Valentine’s Day, the holiday for lovers, and others who love. For hearts, flowers, candy and the like. The specific day that we designate for romance, and to express our true feelings for others. I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day, since I was a kid. Sitting at my desk, with my handmade mailbox, while other students dropped cards in. Then, getting to open it up, and open all of those tiny little envelopes, with characters and hearts on them. All parts of the holiday- hearts, flowers, candy, decorations, color- they all appeal to me.

However, this year, I sought also the deeper meaning for me in the holiday. I have celebrated it for many years, and this year, besides having love in my life, and cherishing that, it also represented something deeper, something more meaningful. It represents the true opening to love.

I have been open to varying degrees in my life, with different people. I have talked about my feelings, shared parts of myself, and expressed my deepest emotions at times. However, I have never truly opened up and been vulnerable to another human being. Ever. Not to family, to friends, or to a partner.

I didn’t realize just how closed I was until I made a commitment in the last six months to really open, to take a chance and let love unfold in its purest fashion. I could have just gone along as I have before, telling only what I thought the other person could handle; or hold back on how I feel about something and then resenting it down the road. But, I wanted it to be different. I was ready to have the whole thing, even knowing that it meant a deeper level of commitment on my part, and from my heart. It meant risk, and true vulnerability.

As I have been thinking on this for the last few days, I have also been watching my Christmas cactus get ready to bloom. It is fifteen years old, given to my daughter’s other mom when she was born, from my mom. I have been waiting, since the buds first appeared, to see it open, and one day, it finally did:

christmas cactus 2013

It fascinated me, as much as it delighted me, to see that bloom. I never knew that a bloom could open that much, actually opening back onto itself, it is so open. It reminds me of love, of the kind of love that I want to keep building, creating and committing to. In order to truly experience love, and the deepest connection possible, I need to open, fully, and be ready for greatness.

For I truly believe, that being vulnerable, and opening our full selves, that the beauty of life for all of us lies on the other side of that.

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