Another day, another walk down the street to stumble upon yet another piece of heart-shaped trash, or a heart-shaped stain on the sidewalk. Time to Instagram! #heartsareeverywhere.
I’m starting to suspect a trash artist is hard at work placing random hearts around Oakland. The thing is, this is not unusual. As a resident of Oakland I see quite a bit of trash on the ground. However, and much to my delight, often times it is in the shape of a heart.
I see hearts everywhere!
It's true. I notice them in nature, in my food, in the clouds, and in completely random places where I least expect it, like on the ground.
Seeing + photographing hearts and living a heart-driven life has actually become a part of my identity over the past year or so.
When people see hearts they think of me, which I find incredibly flattering. My heart gets all smiley and happy when I think about leaving that kind of legacy behind.
But what’s really interesting about this is that I didn’t always see hearts or feel all warm and fuzzy inside about life.
Several years ago during my personal “dark ages”, I was incredibly down-in-the-dumps. Tears fell into my cereal bowl every morning, I cried privately in my bathtub at night, and sleep was my best attempt at escaping my sadness.
It really felt pretty awful being me for a while. Everything felt like a struggle, my marriage was falling apart, and according to Facebook, everyone was a lot happier and more successful than me.
In order to protect myself from further torture, I cancelled my account, only to revive it years later after I awoke from the dark and stepped out into the light through my divorce.
My perspective shifted when I mustered the courage to move on with my life and start over again. I gave myself another chance by opening up to the possibility that I could really love and be loved by someone in the way I had imagined as a little girl.
But the first order of business was to learn how to love myself.
When my divorce finalized, you would think I would have been wallowing in grief in a room littered with tissues. Hell to the no. It was quite the opposite situation actually. In contrast, once I signed my divorce papers I stepped into a new reality – what I like to call, “a love paradigm”.
I started feeling an abundance of gratitude for my life and felt an overwhelming sense of love in my heart.
Perhaps you could say this was the rebirthing experience that followed my devastating Pluto opposite Venus transit.
Then I went to Burning Man and was exposed to even wilder expressions of love and creativity than I had ever imagined. I had to shove my previous judgments about this festival aside, as I was totally blown away by the generosity and love I received from strangers.
Later, I continued to fall in love with my single-woman-status through forgiveness practices, loads of self-care, journaling, therapy, and soaking up the spaciousness of my freedom.
I even experimented with the online dating scene for a hot minute, but quickly rescinded once I realized I didn’t want to interrupt the love affair I was having with myself.
And then, when I least expected it, I met Randall. Now, two and a half years later, I am still head over heels in love and continually learning how to open up my heart another layer. By allowing myself to become even more honest and more vulnerable through this relationship, I am making myself more available to the healing powers of love.
I started seeing hearts just around the time I started dating Randall. It served to remind me of the greater lesson I was learning to embody. It served to remind me I was on the right track by pursuing my inner truth – that love leads the way to the most joy.
Seeing hearts everywhere continues to reflect this message back to me. Jung referred to receiving or seeing repetitious messages as an “amplification” – amplifying what is hidden within our unconscious. When we begin to see it outside of us, we begin to know it exists within.
Well let me tell you - I know that love is within me and is my true nature. And the most exciting thing is to see this realization emerging amidst the collective of humanity.
The world is awakening to love.
Hallelujah! We are finally recognizing our need for connection and harmony. And, as we step further into the Age of Aquarius, we are remembering - literally, re-membering ourselves and healing the wounds of separation. We know on some level that this is necessary for our continued survival.
I'm pretty freaking excited about this.
So now that I’ve brought hearts to your attention (if you aren't aware of them already) – I invite you to keep your eyes peeled. See if you begin to see notice them more and more. And when you do, remember that seeing hearts is amplifying the truth that you too are an expression of love.
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and also a Full Moon in Leo - so it's likely emotions are going to be running high.
Whatever your plans are for this Valentine’s Day, be sure to carve out some time to celebrate + nurture yourself in some way.
If that feels like too big of a stretch and you're feeling lonely or yearning for that special someone, don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends or family. That's what they are there for!
If you are where I was a few years ago, it's ok to be sad, but I encourage you not to isolate yourself. Unless that means you are having a special date for you, with you. Go ahead, buy yourself a treat, take a luxurious bath, get a massage, or go out for a glass of champagne.
Love yourself up in a way you would love that special someone.
Because falling in love with yourself is an essential step in attracting a loving relationship. When we can really be alone and enjoy being with ourselves, that's when we don't need someone to fill our cup of joy. Sure, we need each other - but it's much better and more "full - filling" to give from a full cup and share love with another person, than to look for someone to fill us up. Yes, this takes a little effort, but I can assure you, the process can be tons of fun and yields some seriously awesome results.