“Love never leaves us. It is always in our hearts.”
The underlying truth of our existence is that we need love.
We need to receive it and express it.
This need, even if ignored, denied, or rejected outright, never truly goes away.
It is our reason for being.
It is our purpose, our meaning, and our mission.
Everything else is a distraction.
Everything else is a compromise.
There is no substitute, no replacement, and no second best.
It is what we yearn for, what we fight for, and what we cry for.
It is why we help and hurt, support and reject, and embrace and abandon each other.
It gives us a reason to live and a reason to die.
Love is the only thing that truly matters.
No matter what we are told, what we tell ourselves, or what we tell others, this truth never changes.
This truth cannot be talked, torn, or beaten out of us.
Our need for love, both expressed and received, never leaves us.
The farther away from it we get, the more we need it.
The closer we get to it, the more we want it.
This need is always in our hearts.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.*
*Robert Van Valkenburgh’s black and white photography can be seen at My Darkness To Light
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