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The CEO of the XoXo

As the smell of chocolate still lingers in the air from Valentine’s Day, I am thinking about love. They say it makes the world go around, and as we spin and spin amid its flurry of emotions, we begin to form requirements for it.

There are criteria that must be met in order to let it in. There are guidelines we’ve drawn up within ourselves for it to be poured out.

We enter relationships with it based on expectations and agreement, and over time it becomes much more contractual than the reflex it once was.

The thing is, I get it. I understand why it is more business than poetry. Because love is wild and free and sometimes reckless. It is like an errant child who cannot be corralled, and all that thrashing and splattering in our lives can lead to moments of euphoric joy and sometimes end in intense pain. We, as humans, are in the business of avoiding pain, so we set boundaries, guidelines, restrictions, and enter the business of love.

The upside of becoming the CEO of our heart is we sidestep pitfalls, become wiser with investments, and some are lucky enough to become Fortune 500 love machines, seemingly having it all.

The downside is that even with all the managing it still can hurt, and there is no way to avoid that.

I am fifty years old and I do not love as fast or hard or voraciously as I used to. I am a CEO with a very thorough company policy in place.

If I am being honest, I miss the days of being a little absurd with my heart. It wasn’t all bad, because even amid the pain or hurt I still felt a great deal of joy in loving another soul as much as I did. In hindsight, the risk was worth the leap.

There is a confidence that comes from knowing you are capable of loving another so completely. A freedom in understanding that it did not break you. And there is surprise in realizing it expanded the territory of your heart and you are better for it. Even amid the pain there is a beauty within myself I would never have discovered had it not been for that leap.

I guess what I am saying is that I get the business of love, but it was not made to be contained. I hope we can all take a day off from being that CEO and step away from the big business side of it and get caught in the absurdity once more.

You are strong enough to give it, and powerful enough to receive it, and I promise that when it comes to love – real, rich, deep, soul-changing love – the risk is always worth the leap.

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