Are you building up an expectation around Valentine’s Day? It may be misplaced, historically speaking Valentines frequently referred to martyrs, rather than a lusty hopeful courtier. Nevertheless, taking the more prosaic view that Valentne’s Day will provoke in you either butterflies of eager anticipation, or the dismissal of the disinterested, there exists the cold brutal truth that Love will not actually help you. That isn’t to say it isn’t worth throwing your hat in the ring, but if you want to be happy or rich or satisfied, then love isn’t the equation you thought it was. Look around, trawl your memory bank and reflect on your own and your friends experiences. A more realistic contemplation about the nature of love may propel you into a possibility of a future with a loving partner. Firstly, when did Love really make you happy? Feeling the emotions around a partner that excites may lead you to feelings of anticipation, thrill, joy but just as likely, promotes anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, lack of control. Love, when it works , brings about the conditions that allow you to feel bolder, brighter, smarter. You end up being bolder, brighter , smarter, not because of love, but because loving a partner that supports your qualities enhances them. We all know about loving a partner that brings you down, it’s a spiral of descent into Hell. So know that when Love works, it doesn’t look ugly, or spiteful, jealous or violent.
Mmm, that ‘being in love’ that is mimicked across billboards, posters, films, songs, cartoons, what is that all about? Well, it exists. For a time. Give it say, eighteen months or so, and the chemical cocktail that has exploded in your brain will start to have less power. The torrent of emotion quells , and knowing that just may propel you both into preserving a loving alliance that relies on companionship and friendship as well as the heady passionate embrace. It’s the reason some people are addicted to serial monogamy, finding it difficult to move away from the thrill of the chase, the power of the early tumult. And it is also possibly the reason arranged marriage has been an alternative model for choosing life partners in some cultures. Therein lies an understanding of the long haul.
But the cocktail is an enticing one, perhaps the recipe for which will never be known. Of all the mysteries of life, Love is surely the greatest? Indefinable, incapable of being imitated, love is hand in hand with truth. If we kid ourselves we love, the truth invariably raises its head. Of course we kid ourselves mainly in ignorance, wanting to believe in the love object, desperate to be completed by the other. Yin to the Yang. To love well, we have to be as truthful with ourselves as it is possible to be. Often in the course of living and working , getting up and carrying on we veer away from ourselves, somehow alienating ourselves from the parts of ourselves that need to be cultivated and nurtured. That’s why it can feel as though you have come home when you meet the person who brings out the youness in you. Not very scientific I know, but to love healthily, cultivate the youness in you. Inhabit that space and love finds it. Bearing in mind that Love comes in lots of shapes and sizes, and not necessarily as a homo sapiens holding a ring or red roses. It might be piano shaped, or abstract , equations that hold the answers to the universe. Enjoy Valentines Day, without the hocus pocus thrown out by the restauranteurs and card manufacturers. And without the massacre (please).
Illustration from http://johnbroadley.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_01_archive.html