It's the month of love—a good time to celebrate love...for a very simple reason. It deserves to be celebrated!
It's a good time to cultivate love, because it doesn't just grow on its own—we need to take some initiative and tend it the way we do our garden treasures. If you want to grow roses, you plant them where they get sunshine in good doses, water in small but continuous doses, and protection from the winter cold.
Relationships are much the same—only, don't you think that they deserve more attention, more time, more resources than your lovely flowers? Of course, flowers deserve a place in the sun! I love flowers (you know it). But relationships are the growing buds, the luscious blooms, the delicate petals of meaning that we tend to in our daily lives—if we want something of sustained and satisfying beauty to fill our souls.
You grow love much the same way you grow roses—protect it from harsh doses of judgmental coldness...provide plenty of warmth and delight...and make sure there is acknowledgement of value...a slow steady stream is helpful! Relationships that get the same kind of understanding and the diligent eye of provision from a "people gardener" are just as likely to become beautiful with blossoming buds as the roses we care for in our front yard.
Love grows nearly anywhere if it gets a good start and a continuous supply of nurturing kindness.
I write on how humans develop and grow through challenges we face. I've divided this into three categories--Growing Love is about relationships and how we create conditions for growth despite the inevitable challenges. Cloudburst is about grief, specifically—which is a tricky topic. We need to keep growing but pushing is the opposite of helpful. And in Dancing on Hot Sand I talk about personal inner growth in hard places—spiritual growth, without sounding religious, I hope.