“To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.” ~ Brené Brown
Saturdays are my favorite days. They always start and end with love. Seconds after the door to his crate swings open, Jamie, our furry four-legged son, leaps on to the bed and plows through the fluffy white comforter, his tiny nub of a tail a blur of motion. He is so full of joy and eager to deliver his endless supply of love that he seems barely able to contain himself. With the crown of his tiny salt-and-pepper colored head he creates his pathway between my husband Edward and I, and when satisfied, proceeds to attack us with a barrage of cuddles and kisses firmly pressing his little fifteen pound frame against us as if he knows exactly what receiving a hug feels like. Once he feels his humans have received adequate affection, Jamie finds his place snuggled up between us with his head inevitably resting on one of our shoulders. I breathe in these moments and thank God for our little man and his expression of unconditional love because the truth is, most of the time loving and being loved isn’t this simple. It’s a vulnerable experience and comes with much greater risk. It’s the remainder of my typical Saturdays which, through sweaty yoga sessions, brunches with best friends, long conversations, backyard catches, endless laughs, family time around the dinner table, impromptu dance parties, and all of the small gestures that say “I see you. I appreciate you. I value you. You are important to me… I love you” that have changed the entire story around love, worthiness, and belonging for me.
So on a day like Valentine’s Day, I celebrate the ones who give me the courage to love, be loved, and to truly love myself – which is the greatest gift of all.