Feb 212011

Something rather startling happened to me in late 1992, soon after my dad passed away. It was both comforting and revelatory in its simple wisdom.

Several of my siblings and I were from out of town and were staying at his home. I’d been feeling his presence strongly, and made it a point during the days surrounding the funeral to take some quiet time alone to connect with him.

On one of these occasions I was telling him I loved him. I was crying and my heart was wide open.

And just as I said “Dad, I love you so much.” I heard, almost as if someone were in the room with me:

“You are love.”

I was struck by both the clarity and the simplicity of how the message came through, and what it implied. Also by how strongly it rang true.

Over the course of the next weeks and months, I found comfort in that experience. It really felt like I’d had a goodbye connection with Dad. I don’t know for sure but can’t explain otherwise how that message could have come through so strongly.

When we divided up Dad’s belongings, my sister got Dad’s wedding ring. It gave me an idea. A few months later I bought a ring to wear to remind me of Dad and the message I was given. I’ve since lost it but replaced it with this one that’s even more fitting, which I wear all the time. (Don’t you just love that it has wings? I won’t even start with the symbolism of that!)

As time’s gone on, I’ve found the message valuable in itself. It comes to mind often. It’s an interesting and useful idea to me. It’s a reminder of what I feel and believe we are; what our essence is.

It means that love is our natural state of being. Or maybe it’s even more simple than that, independent of states … or “being” even. We just are it! We just are love, and we couldn’t not be it even if we tried!

We don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary to “try” to love, to try to be compassionate, to try to forgive, etc.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we automatically do those things. It doesn’t mean we always express ourselves as the love that we are, showing constant compassion and forgiveness. Or even confrontation when it’s called for, and those aspects of expressing love that require courage, that are not all sugar and spice on the surface.

I’m seeing more and more that this life is about our stripping away that which is not us so that what we are (love?) can shine its light.

Not additive, but subtractive.


As simple as that profound message I was given on that special day.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So, you probably notice I’m having a little love fest this month. I’m between Valentine’s Day and my wedding anniversary (hmm, I guess that’s always true, isn’t it?!)

Plus, I’m listening to my heart a lot. And that feels like love (or something really good)!

I’m interested to hear what you might have to say about love. Do you think it’s an action or an essence, a way of being? Do you think it’s something we can add unto ourselves or others?

Do you think you are it?

Even more, I’d love to hear if you’ve ever received any messages that were brand new in the moment yet held up over time, like this one has for me. Surely you must have! Are you willing to share them?

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  22 Responses to “A Message About Your Relationship to Love”

Comments (18) Trackbacks (4)

    Hi Patti,

    There are often so many filters that we cover our hearts with that it is hard to connect with the core of our being or to have any clarity in life. But on those occasions when we do, it does us good to pay close attention. I love the story you shared about your Dad and the symbolism behind the ring you wear. Knowing the history behind something always gives it greater significance. That’s why I love history so much. 🙂

    As for love, I think it is an action, essence and a way of being. As you mentioned, love does not always happen automatically even though we may be love in essence. It is something we have to practice and work at to integrate it into our actions and lives. As far as possible, it helps to nourish our minds with books and to watch and listen to things that remind us to be more loving. Doing this and practicing love where we can helps to connect us with our core nature.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier


      Hi Irving,

      Where you said “I think it is an action, essence and a way of being.”: I love that, the idea that love is all those things. Of course it is! I’ve learned over the last years that often we use an “or” where we can/should use an “and”. Thanks for that! And for all the rest, of course. Good food for thought.

      And now I’m off to read what sounds like a fascinating article on your site 😉

      Thanks for coming by!


    What is love? Well, I think at the core of our beings, we are all love. And I truly, honestly believe that LOVE is why we’re here. To learn to love with our whole beings, our whole hearts. Love is a verb, love is a noun, love is just everything! And if we make it our primary feeling as we navigate through our lives, life will be so much sweeter.


      Hi Lindsay,

      Thanks for sharing this. I especially like: “To learn to love with our whole beings, our whole hearts.” Just imagine that! With no impediments!

      I like how your post topic is so similar to mine, and in it you talk about sychronicity. Cool. 😀

      Thanks for coming by!


    I have been learning to listen to my heart more too. It suddenly dawned on me that there is this vast open space of love and wisdom within my heart. Why am I so often looking on the outside for answers and love? When they were within me all along. I was inspired by reading the alchemist. Thanks for this post.


      Hi Leah,

      Welcome! Glad you came by and especially that you left this great tidbit. I agree, the love and wisdom feels vast and open, doesn’t it? And the way you put it is a great reminder, because if I don’t pay attention, before I know it, I’m looking “out there” too. (Of course, I’m not sure I believe there actually is an “out there” that isn’t us, but that’s another post! ;-))

      Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom.


    Hi Patti,
    Love your story and love your ring. Happy anniversay. Isn’t love grand. Wholeheartedly agree that we are love, the rest is an illusion. We only need to allow all else to fall away, girlfriend! xoxo


      Hi Tess,
      Thank you thank you thank you, and yes it is.
      The rest is an illusion, yes indeed…
      Thanks for coming by! 😀


    I love that you bought a ring to remind yourself of your dad! I lost my dad to cancer, some years ago, and was not happy with how my family handled the “remembering” of him. But I planted a bush like the one on our farm that was one of his favorites. Every spring when it flowers I remember him, and all the times we spend together. So, I relate to your getting a ring to remember him. Thanks for this lovely post!


      Hi Kelly,

      What a beautiful story! I especially like that the way you remember and honor your dad is with a living thing that he appreciated, especially one with flowers so that it’s cyclical. What a neat idea. I’m glad you shared that.

      Thanks for coming by again and leaving your thoughts!


    Lovely words Patti. One thing I find about love is it doesn’t have any bounds. In some ways, I didn’t connect too well with my Dad when he was here. But in the years since his passing I find a real sense of connection with him. Life is a trickster isn’t it?


      Hi Christopher,

      Hmm, yes, so true… I guess if it has bounds, it’s not really love, is it? Wonderful point.

      Interesting about your dad. And I’m happy for you that you’re connected with him now; that must feel good. I lost my mom when I was fairly young and have had to learn to appreciate the value of loving someone even when they’re not around (well, not physically, anyway.) Some would say it’s way easier to connect with and love someone when they’re not around, he he, but we know what we mean. 😉

      Thanks for coming by and for sharing your boundless wisdom about love, Christopher.


    I think that love is our authentic selves. It is how we were intended to be born. That means a child needs nurturing…… to be shown love in order to learn it effectively. Sadly, many of us lose our way through our lives. I believe that searching for meaning in our lives is actually the search for that love. That love in a way that is described at “agape”.


      Hi Marty,

      Welcome! I’m glad you found your way here, and that you’re weighing in with your thoughts about this. I think “I believe that searching for meaning in our lives is actually the search for that love.” is an especially interesting idea. I’m going to have to play with that one for awhile!

      Thanks so much for coming by.


    Hi Patti,
    I loved this article. I think your visit from your Dad was awesome! I think that’s the message that we all need to understand. We are love and that’s all that matters. Everything else is an illusion. I also think the ring you chose was beautiful!


      Hi Angela,

      This is the 2nd of 2 messages of yours I found in the spam container just now. So sorry! Especially because I love getting your comments and having a little connection with you. 😀

      And I like hearing your “take” on this message. Thanks so much for coming by!


    “I’m seeing more and more that this life is about our stripping away that which is not us so that what we are (love?) can shine its light.”

    I love this Patti. This is completely how I am uncovering my word of the year, “abundance.” It’s not about what you get, but what you have.

    I have to agree that so often we “protect” ourselves by putting up barriers and cutting ourselves off from love. If we don’t allow ourselves to love, we can’t get hurt you know? :o) When we are able to get beneath all that stuff we can find the true essence which is in all of us…love.

    I’ve been practicing gratitude lately and not just gratitude for what is going well but gratitude for everything, even the difficult stuff. Since I’ve been doing this I can feel my heart opening and finding myself in the flow of love more often. I’m loving it!

    Thanks for this great post Patti!!!


      Oh wow! “It’s not about what you get, but what you have. ” I wouldn’t have thought of that as another aspect of what I said, but it is, isn’t it?!

      And yes, I like what you said about our barriers, and not even just the obvious ones, but even those we don’t think are related to squelching love at all. But in another way, that’s just part of being human. One of those things like you are talking about that we can appreciate even if it doesn’t seem like an obviously positive thing.

      Thanks so much, what a rich comment, Michelle. (And I didn’t even mean that as a play on words to your abundance talk, but there it is!) Thanks for coming by.

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