Well, today has finally arrived. The hearts and cupids have been on display for several weeks helping to sell candy, fancy dining, flowers and diamond jewelry. Western civilization’s holiday of love, Valentine’s Day, is here.
Love is a subject that we all have pondered to death. There are so many angles about it. Religious leaders and philosophers have divided it into categories. But I think that the categories are only fractions of the whole. To mix metaphors, there are as many categories of love as the Eskimos have names for snow. It’s all the same thing.
There’s the syrupy, often sappy kind of love that many of us associate with Valentine’s Day cards and music. There’s the deep yearning we’ve felt at one time or another. The element of fear is present. Many of us felt or still feel that we might ultimately end up lonely in life. We notice a compulsion to find and win a partner. Perhaps this is partly due to biology and partly because of our social natures.
The two people fall into a romantic relationship with each other. In their minds, they picture an idealistic version of life together. They imagine total bliss as they plan for a perfect home and perhaps a family. The cute little cottage with the picket fence, flowers on the borders and little birdies twittering away. Is this love? I think that’s only a tiny part of love.
Love doesn’t always come in quaint, storybook packages tied up with a bow for Hollywood’s distribution. Often, love is integrated with harsh trials and heartbreak. But we stay with the situation if “real” love is there. Still, we’re stuck with applying labels to our fractured viewpoint of love.
Is love really divisable into profane and sacred varieties? If you are my lover, and I tell you that I love you, does that mean you are the only person I can love? Or does that mean I can only love you in a certain manner? You might have different notions as to the nature of our loving relationship.
When we try to put love into a strictly defined area, we find that love is greatly diminished. In fact, the undefineable concept of love may go into hiding when we try to horde it and to define it according to our own opinions. To divide love into what should be, what shouldn’t be and what we imagine it actually is, is a tragically deceptive way of living a life.
Thought and dogma cannot begin to define love. To say “I will love you” or “I have loved” puts a cap on love and turns it into a commodity. When you really, really love, there is no obedience, there is neither respect nor disrespect. There is no clinging, condemnation, anger nor jealousy. Love is not the opposite of hate. There is no comparison. There are no boundaries.
When a person loves another person, there is love with all one’s heart, all one’s mind, all one’s body. When you completely abandon yourself to love, there is not the other.
To really know love, means no law and no institution will come between you and your lover. If you really, really know love, you know in your heart that fear is not love; dependence is not love; jealousy, possessiveness and domination are not love. Laws and scriptures only restrict and enforce love. Love withers away under enforcement. Self-pity and sentimentality are not love. Many things are not love.
Love just is.
Have a loving Valentine’s Day.
The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you feel free to allow love to bloom inside you today and always.