If I know what love is, it is because of you.
This is Valentine’s Day and a day to remind us about love, as though we have forgotten all year.
I could launch into a diatribe about the commercialization of the heart with overpriced heart-shaped boxes with just three chocolates inside and the $5 pink cards with pink platitudes. But that’s no way to start a little 250 word piece on love.
Instead, I prefer to stay with something more real, like the quote above by one of my favorite authors, Herman Hesse, who just says it all. And what he is really saying is: Love is the result of the other.
Sure, I can love myself. In fact, every self-help guru seems to mandate this concept with seminars, books, web sites and DVDs, all at a discount price. But let me tell you, self love isn’t as much fun or as enlightening as loving another.
Nor is it the same thing. Loving oneself seems like work; but loving another happens magically. This magic is not easy to get however, and it isn’t something that comes from a DVD or a website, no matter what the special pricing.
When asked why he isn’t in a relationship, The Love Guru, in the Mike Meyer’s film of the same name, responds that self love is necessary first.
The Love Guru: Well, there is someone I like. But until I learn to love myself, I can only go out with three girls named Ann.
Darren Roanoke: Three girls named Ann?
The Love Guru: Yeah. Ann Visible, Ann Flatable, and Ann Job.
Coming back to the topic at hand — Love as expressed by Valentines Day… I am in love.
I have been in love with my Valentine wife forever; in fact, throughout many lifetimes, I believe. This quote by an anonymous writer rings in my ears and underlies our relationship: “Life is eternal, and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.”
We have met again and again throughout our various lives to work out different challenges in our existences, to learn lessons together, to experience the rich joy of togetherness in the experiences of incarnation. Forever figuring it out.
I believe that love with depth (read: true love) is love which rises to the challenge of maintaining the connection when times get tough. When the world is collapsing, when dreams fall, when death and sometimes destruction comes upon us, it is in those times that love will cocoon and be the home.
This love is the glue binding humanity and the world and creates our meaning.
This loves goes beyond the kitsch of Valentine’s Day to underlie all of what the best of life as a human feels like.