With Valentine’s day arriving, we are programmed to think about Cupid -romantic love. So the very word love causes us to immediately think about flowers, holding hands, long walks on the beach, snuggly nights, and so forth. I think that’s ridiculous.
To begin with, romantic love does not have to be about any of those things. It can be about sharing, communication, trust, respect, intimacy, affection, listening, supporting. It is also about dialogue, arguments, compromise, and so much more. Yes, all the romantic things are nice, but they are not always necessary – except maybe the hand holding.
KNOW LOVE – NO LOVER
But what about those of us who do not have lovers? Me, I sleep with a cat. Or alone. So what about love? When we think of love, we forget about the love we experience every day. About those friends who know us and love us anyway. The ones that support us in our madness, our joy and our sorrows. The ones that bring food when you need it. That hug you no matter what. What about the friends who tell you the truth even when it costs them your anger – these are far and few between and they surely love you.
For me, a lot of it is about the women in my life. I have a remarkable group of friends. But I have also grown up enough to appreciate the men who are my friends and expect nothing from me but my friendship in return. Now that is truly a gift.
For some of us, there is the love of a higher power. Some people find it in religion, some in spiritual practices and some in their own brand of faith or belief. That is the love that allows us to see miracles on a daily basis. The miracle of breathing, the miracle of the sun setting and the moon rising, the miracle of the stars, the miracle of the wind on our faces and the scents of the flowers.
So, Valentine’s Day has very little meaning for some of us, Hallmark holiday that it is. Of course my programming says it is nice to be recognized on these holidays, to have a lover repeat their avowal of love in some tangible or overt act. Me, my cat, and I will spend a few extra minutes loving each other on Valentine’s day and that will have to be enough.