I’m not a fan of “special days” like birthdays, anniversaries, New Year’s, Christmas and Valentine’s because they focus into one day what wants to be shared all year. Why should we only have that wonderful “Christmas spirit” around Christmas? Why do some folks only tell me they love me on my birthday?
But the biggest offender is Valentine’s Day. It’s a double whammy. It’s the day of romantic love. If you’re not in love, this day is not only not special, it’s a crummy reminder that you’re not in a relationship, or not in a loving one.
All forms of love, whether romantic or otherwise, are all in the mind of the beholder. You.
Suppose you are a lover of nature and you go for a walk in the woods. It’s a beautiful day and a lush time of year. As you relax your breathing and become increasingly present, you allow yourself to fall more and more in love with your surroundings. It’s breathtaking. Almost nirvana. Even the broken, “ugly” tree with fungus has a magic, beautiful quality.
This is how it’s supposed to be all the time, with everyone in your life. You’re not supposed to love just one tree. If you go into the woods just seeking out your favorite tree, you’ll miss a lot of beauty. Note: I am not advocating having more than one romantic partner; I’ve never seen that work. I’m advocating having one romantic partner and still being in (non-romantic) love with everyone.
Further, suppose on your walk in the woods your mind is full of crap from the day. The unhappy boss or client. Something negative someone said about you. Bills you can’t pay. A dent in the car. All this negativity swimming around that you just can’t get out of your head. If you don’t take a moment to be present, you won’t see any of the beauty. However, if you can take a few conscious breaths, let it go, focus on the reality that is the present moment, you can let go of all the mind baloney and be. Then you can be moved by the beauty around you.
What do you need to take care of to be present to the amazing people in your life? What are the things you need to handle in yourself, in order to let go of your judgments about other people? Like the broken tree with fungus in the forest, there is beauty in everyone if we just get ourselves out of the way. You can do this in an instant, by taking a conscious breath.
And we can work on this for a lifetime, and would be well served to do so – to get better and better at putting our ego/unconscious/lower selves in perspective, and allowing the natural love within us to be expressed.
You did it naturally when you were a baby. It’s the natural state of humanity. You just got some gunk in the way on the bumpy road of life. Solutions include meditating, getting exercise, therapy, body work, talking openly with wise friends, journaling, listening/reading spiritually awakening books like Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, taking conscious walks in nature, and much more.
I’ve been working on myself on and off for 35 years. Because of the work, I have an amazing relationship… head-over-heals with my partner, JoAnn, for nine years. And I’m so much more open and available and loving to everyone in my life than I was 35 years ago. That said, I still have a long way to go. And, there’s nowhere to get. Love is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy every second of it.