Love Defined

Love has so many meanings and layers.  As we step into February, and Valentine’s Day advertising is everywhere, it makes us think of the traditional meaning of love.

Society generally teaches that you are supposed to love your family, and love between two people is a commitment. Often love gets associated with duty. As a result, many people feel that because they love someone, they are supposed to do what that person wants, regardless of their feelings about the matter. On the flip side, there is a belief that when someone loves you, they are supposed to do things for you.

Love takes so many forms, and the meaning is different for each of us.  For those of us who have been through trauma, loving relationships can be complicated. We have all been touched by love and by someone telling us what love is supposed to be.

What is your definition of love?  Have you considered what it means to you be loved, or to be loving to another person?  Take a moment to think about this – outside of the definitions you were raised with, what does love feel like to you?Love Defined

There is one grounding and unconditional form of love that we all have access to, no matter who we are or what we have been through – the  Love of Source/God/Goddess/Universe.  This is space for us to turn to regardless of what is going on in our lives.  Source/God/Goddess/Universe asks nothing except that we open ourselves to this love and fully claim who we are in our Soul.  When you are feeling low or alone, take a moment to disconnect from your reality and connect to Source/God/Goddess/Universe.

If you can, diffuse a soothing essential oil, light a candle, or put on soft music.  Now close your eyes, breathe deeply for a few minutes, listening to the sound of your breath, and focus on the beat of your heart or the ticking of a clock – anything that allows you to quiet your mind.  Relax every muscle in your body, starting from your toes and moving upward.  In this space of calm and quiet, ask Source/God/Goddess/Universe to fill your being with love and serenity, and relax into this.  You may feel a sensation or a feeling of calmness.  Be in this moment, with no external input.  If any thoughts surface, observe them and allow them to pass without focusing on them.  Stay in the space as long as you can or as long as it feels good.  If you only have five minutes to spend doing this, it will still recenter your being.

Love surrounds you right now.  Tap into the love around you – set the intention to see this love and its manifestations in the world. 

Decide what love means to you and what it feels like. You deserve this love.  You deserve to feel the radiant joy of a love-filled life and you don’t need to be, do  or behave in a certain way to be given this gift – it is yours to claim.

Many Blessings,
Santa

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RUNNING THROUGH DARKNESS
MEMOIR OF A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR

BY SANTA MOLINA-MARSHALL ‧ RELEASE DATE: MAY 3, 2022

This debut memoir chronicles a woman’s spiritual exploration and growth as she overcame a disturbing childhood and helped others heal.

Brought to America from the Dominican Republic as a youngster, Molina-Marshall should have led a happy life. Her father was a diligent worker, and his large family wanted for nothing. But the author recounts that her dad had a drinking problem and was a serial philanderer. Molina-Marshall’s long-suffering mother left him for a woman. Then it was all downhill for the bright, 12-year-old girl, who was shuttled between foster care and relatives. According to the author, she was sexually abused by the husband of one of her siblings. This resulted in Molina-Marshall becoming alienated and moody. By 15, she simply tried to survive. In her favor were grit and a restless intelligence. She quit school, rented a room, and found a factory job. Time went by, and for a while she was happily married. Yet when her husband left her, her life truly began. She turned to religion for answers but decided that blaming God for her woes was a cop-out. 

In this absorbing and moving memoir, Molina-Marshall’s vivid storytelling is fearless. She frankly discusses the truths she discovered and the indignities she suffered. These admissions are disclosed with a touch of resignation and plenty of bite. However painful, everything she experienced was a lesson, and she bravely realized that she was part of the problem: “The fear of being hurt, rejected, or abused often led to me feeling lonely and misunderstood. No one knew the agonizing pain I felt being trapped in my thoughts and anger. I was becoming my biggest threat.” 

The author skillfully recounts her intricate spiritual journey. To deal with her psychic wounds, she searched for an inspirational system. Her open-mindedness led her to the interfaith concept—cherry-picking from various religions and spiritual movements, yoga, and Indigenous beliefs as a way of finding peace. Along with her female partner, she built a therapy practice, making use of every spiritual element that aided her and others. The road was bumpy, and she found that women of color in same-sex relationships were not welcomed everywhere. To do good works—and finally live on her own terms—she effectively overcame bigotry.

An engrossing, cathartic account of empathy and success through determination and confidence.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022   |    ISBN: 978-0-578-38315-6  |   Page Count: 264    | Publisher: From Trauma to Triumph  |   Review Posted Online: June 13, 2022