Beyond Valentine’s Day…


Keith blog headshot

With Valentine’s Day and the continual display of romantic images of love behind us, I chose to share a guest blog today from Keith Varnum, who facilitates a spiritual group I attend in Scottsdale, Arizona. Keith’s perspective on enjoying more love in your life every day is truly inspiring. Enjoy!


“What God Asks You in Heaven”

By Keith Varnum

A spiritual teacher quizzes me, “Do you know what God’s going to ask you when you die?”

I can’t imagine that anyone knows the answer to this “impossible” question. Yet my mentor is sincere. From past encounters, I know that he isn’t going to hold his breath waiting for me to dig up an answer. And sure enough, he proposes a response that changes my life!

The Greatest Question Ever Asked

My teacher suggests that God will greet each of us with the only question that really matters: “How well did you love?”

The power of this remark electrifies every atom of my being. After all, what other purpose is more important to an individual’s evolution? For the betterment of humanity? For harmonious environmental and planetary solutions? Bottom line, what other goal is there for being alive?

What is Love?

My mentor’s questions fuel my desire to explore—and embody—what love really is.

How does a person “love well?”

One of my favorite role models of love is Mr. Rogers of the Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood TV show. By example, he illustrates how we can express authentic love in ways that uplift people. He’s probably still at the Pearly Gates answering the question, “How well did you love?” After the way he lived his life, he has a lot to share.

Even though Mr. Rogers has passed on, his show continues to be a resource for how to “love well.” On each program Mr. Rogers demonstrates how to be kind, open, humorous, flexible and compassionate. He displays honest emotions and walks his talk. He supports everyone just as they are—and at the same time, knows they are greater than their limiting beliefs!

Four Key Elements of Love

This “Master of Love” weaves his magic by modeling these four essential elements of real love:

1. Be intuitive. Use your heart—not your rational mind—to know what’s really going on with other people. When a child screams at his parents, “I hate you!” the parents intuitively know that the child feels hurt, afraid or upset. The parents respond by talking calmly with the child until they discover the cause of the flare-up. Adults also say words they don’t mean when they feel hurt, fearful or confused. When we use our hearts—not our logic—to respond to emotional outbursts from others, we offer more compassionate and helpful assistance.

2. Uplift energy. In any human interaction, the greatest service we can perform for others and ourselves is to increase the aliveness of every person involved. Raising the energy and vitality of people and activities makes living more meaningful and fun. Observe if people feel better after their interaction with you. Is their enjoyment of an activity enhanced by your behavior?

3. Foster freedom. Do you give people the space to follow their spirit? Can you let go of hopin’ and wishin’ that others will change? On a deep unconscious level, people can sense even the slightest degree of your wanting them to be different. When people feel unaccepted, they close their hearts to protect themselves. Then you experience feeling shut out, disconnected, alone. To open the door to love, give others the freedom to be just the way they are.

4. Notice results. Pay attention to what people do—not to what people say they will do. People’s actions reveal their true intentions. Some people interact in loving ways, yet don’t use the words of kindness we expect to hear. These truly compassionate folks may not verbally express love well, but they demonstrate care-fullness with every action they take. Other people talk a good game, but their actions show that they aren’t truly caring. These less-than-compassionate people can woo us with all the perfect terminology, but the truth is disclosed when they fail to follow through. Don’t let words fool or confuse you. Watch what folks do!

Loving Yourself Now

“You can’t give someone something that you don’t possess. Therefore, you can’t give someone something that you haven’t first given to yourself,” my spiritual mentor accurately observes.

It’s impossible to give love to another person without loving yourself first. Without an authentic personal experience of love to draw from, you can only share a vague idea of what love is. If you practice the four elements of love, you’ll have a personal experience of love to impart to others.

Check out the four elements of love from a more personal point of view. Ask yourself:

1.“Do I use my intuition with myself? When I feel emotional, do I explore deeper to find out what’s really going on? Am I kind to myself?”

2.“Do the people and projects I choose to be involved with enhance my joy of being alive? Do I increase my vitality by the way I live my life? Or do I waste my energy on people and ventures that lower my zest for living?”

3.“Do I give myself the freedom to follow my heart? To express my spirit? Or do I close my own heart by judging myself, wishing I was different?”

4.“Do I actually do what I say I’m going to do? Do I actively create more abundance and happiness for myself or only talk about building a better life? Do I fool myself by talking a good game yet never taking action?”

The more you embody the essential qualities of love, the more you can assist others to be happy—and the better conversation you’ll have with God at the Pearly Gates!


Keith Varnum, pictured above, helps you embrace the adventure of life! Drawing from the wisdom of native cultures and ancient spiritual traditions, he plays as a Matrix Energetics coach, acupuncturist and Sedona Vision Quest guide. For more information about his work, please call Keith at 1- 800-736-7367.


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  • Ann Marie says:

    Keith has me going back to the BASICS. This was perfect timing for me.

    Thank You for sharing.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      I agree, Ann Marie. He reminds us to focus beyond romantic notions to embrace love as an intention for living well.

  • Alice Greene says:

    I really appreciate Keith’s view of love. It can be hard sometimes to know what it really means to be love or find love in a given moment. It’s easy to think it means something more literal, when it is so much more of an open interpretation about being loving toward yourself as well as others, but not at the expense of yourself or as a self-righteous do-gooder. Thanks!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      You’re welcome. I’m glad you found Keith’s perspective so helpful. And, I like your thoughts, too, on being loving “but not at the expense of yourself or as a self-righteous do-gooder.” Unconditional love takes discipline and focus sometimes so as not to get lost in “expectation” or past subconscious beliefs based on how love was modeled for us.

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