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Natural Awakenings Central Florida / Orlando

Afternoon Ashes and Nighttime Roses

Jan 31, 2024 09:31AM ● By Nikki Paschar, Owner of Heart Maps for Empaths

It’s Time for Agape Love

As social creatures, we all have an instinct to connect to others and feel secure in our world.

This February we have a very rare alignment on the calendar in the Western world.  Valentine’s Day, a day filled with romance, love and dedication to our beloved, is sharing its space with Ash Wednesday, a religious day when we observe that we are mortal and can turn from sin.

This alignment is so rare, in fact, that the last two times it occurred was in 1923 and 1934. And this century we will see it twice again—this month and in 2029. I couldn’t help but wonder: What might these seemingly opposing energies reflect about recent events? 

The world has certainly been through a lot of shifts and transformations since 2020. Tensions have been high, and I further wonder: Is this perhaps a call to deepen our connection to each other, to our humanity?

Agape (ah-gop-pay) Love is an ancient Greek word that Brittannica describes as “the highest form of love, and it is contrasted with eros (erotic love) and philia (brotherly love), which is used extensively throughout the New Testament to describe God’s love for humans. Ideally, humans would have the same love for other humans as God has for us. One need not be religious to feel how amazing your heart feels when you experience genuine kindness, compassion, and empathy. 

As social creatures, we all have an instinct to connect to others and feel secure in our world, our countries, states, homes. Our souls come alive upon experiencing unconditional acceptance and unwavering support, no matter if we are giving or receiving it. I have no doubt we crave genuine connections to other people that run so deep that they transcend ego or envy.

Agape Love also encompasses a host of heroic qualities that humans never stop seeking. Religions are built around it. Communities and subcultures build it into their mission statements. The greatest stories glorify it including personal sacrifice so that others may be lifted higher. It is that feeling of elation we get in our chest (or whole body) sometimes when others are beating all odds.

It is selfless and supports random acts of kindness and service to others.

Are we being asked to consider Agape Love as the connection point of our personal lives and the world around us, regardless of our personal or religious beliefs?

When tensions and stakes are high in the world, how are we to tap into our Agape nature?

I am inspired by Mildred Lisette Norman (commonly known as Peace Pilgrim) and her message reflects that all of us have the capacity for Agape Love. She shares, “We must walk according to the highest light we have, encounter lovingly those who are out of harmony, and try to inspire them toward a better way.”

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Ash Wednesday!

Nikki Paschar, the owner of Heart Maps for Empaths, is an expert in helping individuals overcome burnout by using hypnotherapy, breathwork, and movement techniques. Join her free guided meditations this February to explore Agape Love (2/13/24) and the Power of Pausing and Reflecting (2/28/24). She can be contacted at or 352-809-2429.



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