Life feels better when we’re in love with someone. There’s a sublime joy and pleasure when gazing at the person we love. The whole of life seems enhanced when love washes over us. We want only the best for the beloved. Our mind or endorphins or the combination alters consciousness.
Now that Valentine’s Day is behind us, there is the aftermath of a more rational view beyond the commercial hype. Today is when the unsold Valentine’s candy goes on clearance sale in order to ready the shelves for the next commercial holiday. The mindset is practicality.
While we may enjoy the stability and comfort of a long term relationship with a significant other or spouse, there are the occasional strains and stresses that appear from within our minds and from outside. This is especially noticeable when things become a little too routine between two people. The eyes begin to wander. The question is not the Valentine’s struggle of attracting a special partner; it becomes the question of the day after–how to keep the relationship we have alive and well. How to keep the love from getting stuck in a rut.
The most common and one of the most effective things we do is to verbally, sincerely tell the partner, “I love you.” This simple act provides calm reassurance to the giver and the receiver. The words are more than place keepers; they’re food for the soul. Saying them and hearing them engenders trust and calm. The shared words help us get through the slings and arrows of day to day living. They also provide a mental space where we feel safe to discuss thornier issues around the relationship.
As more time is spent together, communicating, and making love we let go of our mental imaginings and projections about each other. There is the adventure of finding out who he is while he finds out about who you are. This is true intimacy. Love becomes an adventure of mutual self-discovery. This is what we’re really after, isn’t it? We wish that our partners could experience a similar level of emotional investment as ourselves. We regularly touch base with feelings and words to remind one another not only of commitment, but of emotional bonds. The issue is not hurting each other but to honor each other according to mutually agreed boundaries and rules.
After awhile, we become synchronized in behavior and speech. We make the same associations, think similar thoughts, and share similar memories. It’s almost like we’re able to read each other’s minds. This spills over into the temporal realm during moments of physical intimacy. We feel like we understand the concept of total infinity. We’re in love with each other and in love with the Universe.
There is another dimension of love that often applies to people who are single and prefer that way of life. One might compare them to wandering heroes, ascetics, or adventurers. Even if some come to solitary life unwittingly because they were never able to find a special one and only partner. While many end up lonely and unhappy, some of them channel their pent-up love into other areas of life–hopefully positive. Gay and straight singles have focused their energies into being soldiers of fortune, cowboys, explorers, and trailblazers.
The existence of happily single people challenges social assumptions that people are supposed to be part of an heterosexual, nuclear family in order to be fulfilled and happy. Love is about expanding consciousness, experimentation, testing new possibilities of behavior. Pushing the limits proves that survival is not only possible, but that doing so helps us to thrive.
The new realities of pandemics and global climate change, challenge us to consider our place in the planet’s ecology. We can expand our limiting beliefs about love by discovering that everyone can be contributing, participating, worthy, beloved members of the global human family. Love more than fear, motivates us to care for ourselves and all living things. The lessons of love are significant for our own well-being and survival as a species.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes printed circuit board design engineer, Jhiess Krieg. “Life isn’t a merry-go-round, it’s a roller coaster. Life won’t always be smooth, it may not always be pretty, but it will be an adventure, one not to be missed.”