Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

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February is around the corner, and I can’t help but think about Valentine’s Day; must of us do, at least if the holiday is part of your culture. The sweets are everywhere, the cupids are in full view, and the roses are in full bloom in the store shelves. The other day, my husband came home  with the cutest Valentine mug full of Dove chocolates – he knows I love coffee and he told me “you don’t have one of these.” I have enjoyed the little chocolate treats from time to time, and I love to read the sweet message inside the wrapper. I read one that stuck with me – “Discover how much your heart can hold” – it read. That tiny Dove chocolate heart was an epiphany.

Huh, I thought; I have never asked myself that question before.  I wonder, how much can my heart hold?  The answer is as inspiring as it is scary.  Why?  Because it touches on the essence of being human; on how much can we love, and how much we can  hate, and all the other emotions and feelings in between – from Awe, Bliss, and Beauty, to Fear, Doubt, and Heartbreak.  In physiology, the heart can take a beating, and eventually, one day, it will give up.  In terms of emotions and feelings, the heart is so much more amazing, stronger, and stretchable.  (I know, it is all about the brain and its electrical connections, but bare with me for the purpose of this post).

While pondering about the message in the Dove chocolate wrapper, I realized that the only way to know the answer to that is to live life, to live one heartbeat at a time.  Only thru living, the heart will continue to expand, to hold all the humanity and spirituality that life presents its keeper.  So, how much can the heart hold?  It is different for every person, as it is life and the things we let ourselves experience.  We can live minute by minute, or we can live heartbeat by heartbeat – it is up to us.  We can live life going thru the motions, at the beat of the clock, or we can find a true heartbeat in everything we do.  We can expand the capacity of our heart to hold as much as we want, as we allow, and many times, as much as we need.  As far as I’m concerned, every heartbeat counts, you don’t have to climb Mount Everest to get your rush, but if you want to do it, that is wonderful, as it is the way you want to live as you stretch your heart.

How much can your heart hold?  It is up to you to discover it.