The Gates of Love Open

Let us value caring and mutual respectful and reciprocal relationships, as we are able to share freely and be vulnerable, without fear of reprisal. We strive to be in genuine relationship with others as we seek intimate moments.

And you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Rabbi Akiva teaches — this is an all embracing principle in the Torah.
-Leviticus 19:18

How do we establish a loving practice? As we seek the pathways of teshuvah in these days of Elul, we know that to love and to be loved helps us to feel secure, safe, noticed, and valued in this world

How do we express ourselves — is it different on social media than it is in person? What impression do we think others have of us, based on how they see us act and relate to others? It is said that when one wants to see the true value of a person, notice not how they treat their colleagues or superiors — rather, see how they treat those who are hired to provide for their needs — the lawn care people, the household helpers, the pet care providers, the service industry workers. Can we find a way to gain love by giving love to others specifically, and more generally, offering love unconditionally, out in the world?

Write a short list of what you love — foods, places, experiences, etc. Ask someone else to do the same — and share/compare your respective lists, coordinating a time to share those things together that please each other. Dedicate time weekly or monthly to having a dedicated experience with someone. Do something today without being asked (and without looking for recognition). Do something new with someone you care about. Practice spontaneous kindness. With permission, practice a non-threatening touch with someone today. See who is in your life — and be committed to honoring those friendships, affiliations, and relationships through thick and thin.