Thursday, July 12, 2012

7/13/12—Caring For and Nurturing Love

Today's Draw: The Emperor from the Pen Tarot. Have you ever taken responsibility for anything from birth to death? Do you realize you are the architect of your own emotions? And do you know love never needs to be returned to be felt?

Rounding out "How to Feel More Love" week is the Emperor, the visionary, the builder, the divine masculine. The poem included with this card is from David Everett:

Large streams from little fountains flow,
Tall oaks from little acorns grow.

The Emperor has the gift of seeing the stream in the fountain and the oak in the acorn. From there, he creates what he sees. So if, even after all the stuff we've talked about this week, you still want to feel more love in your life, envision it and create it. 

Look, a lot of what helps or hinders our experience of love is in the brain anyway. As I've said a few times, the love you want to feel is probably already there anyway. You're just not acknowledging it. Once you find even a hint of love, placing attention on it can bring it from acorn to oak. But if you still don't feel enough love, then envision what you need and take the necessary steps to bring it into your life. 

I keep talking about giving love this week, too. And the reason I keep saying that is that you can't give love without feeling love. You can feel just as much love by giving it as you can by receiving it. Love is felt by both parties in both directions. So the fastest way to feel the kind of love you want you in your life is to give it. It's an experience you're completely self-sufficient in. The love you give doesn't have to be received or acknowledged for it to be felt by you. 

Beyond that, the Emperor is the masculine side of nurturing. So if you want to feel more love, why not take care of something? Provide for it. It could be an orchid, a '57 Chevy or a hermit crab. Be its caretaker and provider and give your care and provision with love. Again, nothing has to love you back in order for you to feel love. Sure, it's nice. But you can feel love by nurturing inanimate objects, too. You feel it in the giving of yourself. 

If you haven't ever cared for a living thing throughout its lifecycle, now may be a time to experience that. I know a few people who have never had children or owned pets or even so much as tended a plant. But I believe the ultimate expression of love comes from being there for something throughout its life. One way to break into this is to raise tomatoes. You can raise them from seed, eat them when they're ripe and cut them down when they're dead, then rework the soil for new cycle of life. Tending to them by staking them and making sure they have enough water is something you can do with love.

This tough girl taught me unconditional love.
Another way is by committing to a pet. I met my first dog, Passion, when she was three months old. I raised her. Nursed her through major hip surgery. Helped her adjust to adding a second dog to the house. Protected her from harm. And was her constant companion throughout her life. In exchange, she taught me the lesson of unconditional love.

Anyway, when Passion was 10, she collapsed suddenly and I rushed her to the vet. She really hadn't shown any signs of anything, other than aging. She was a 100lb dog, so 10 was old. The vet told me she had cancer and might not live through the night. She sent us home for one last night together. We spent it in each other's arms. Neither of us really slept. We just talked about old times and the Rainbow Bridge and we nuzzled each other. Then the next day I held her as she died from the drugs the vet gave her to put her to sleep. 

It was the saddest, most beautiful moment of my life. There is no privilege greater than to keep your promise to a creature to take care of them every day of their be their forever mommy. There has been no love greater in my life than what is shown by the trust my dogs have put in me to do that for make the major decisions in their lives and be the one that carries on so they never have to worry about anything. The love given and received and felt in that exchange is extraordinary, as is the love of watching your own seed grow and mature and become independent, as parents do, I'm sure. I can't imagine what that is like, having never experienced it.

So that's the lesson the Emperor brings. Create something and take full responsibility for it, during good times and bad. Not only that, however, but recognize it as the act of love it is...feel the love you give, and feel how just the feeling of love gives back beyond your wildest imagining.

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