Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Today is the day when our thoughts turn to love. Let’s talk about love, shall we?
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
As much as all the hopeless romantics out there (me included) want to believe it, there is no handsome prince or knight in shining armour “out there” who is going to make us happy, content, complete. Jerry MacGuire is a lie and everytime I see the clip with Renee Zellweger chanting, “You complete me,” I want to reach out and slap her upside the head. All these fairytale ideas of love do for us (men and women included), is impose pressure on our would-be suitors to be perfect, and to fill the bottomless pit of need that most of us carry around for most of our life’s journeys. Because there is no person on the planet that is perfect or who can fill that emptiness inside, all we get is the on-going cycle of disappointment and resentment that eventually leads to the death of our relationships. We are all the victims and the losers in this culture of co-dependency that we have so enthusiastically cultivated.
Part of our culture’s problem with love is that we have somehow come to believe that love is a commodity. We believe that love is something we can “give” to another and something we can “get” from another. We have been taught that love is something we have to earn (because of our inherent unworthiness) and that there is a constant threat that love will be taken away. And then we did something really unfortunate, and that was to project our conditional understanding of love onto God. Now God’s love has to be earned and God’s love can be taken away….and it most likely will be because we are inherently bad because of that little party in the Garden with the serpent, the naked man and woman and that darn piece of fruit.
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?
As I see it, there is one cause and one remedy to our messed up understanding of love. The cause is that place inside of us that says we aren’t worthy of love. More directly, it is that place inside of us where we have forgotten that LOVE is our original nature…LOVE is who and what we are….is does not have to be earned, neither can it be taken away….it just is. When we remember that LOVE is who we are, then we are happy, content, whole and complete within ourselves and we stop looking for that magic someone who will make us feel “all better.” The question, however, is how do we remember that LOVE is who and what we are? For those raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition, that journey sometimes begins by healing our images of God. We have to undo the religious dogma that tells us that we have been banished from the Garden and that our life journey is now about earning back God’s fickle love. We have to rediscover the God of Psalm 139 and the God of the story of the Prodigal Son – a God that loves us without condition….that welcomes us home with open arms, that accepts our unripeness and loves us for who we are. As we come to know the love of God more fully, we can then begin the process of rediscovering the Love that we are that can only be found within. And that Love, is found in sound spiritual practice – meditation, creative endeavors, body prayer, contemplation, reading and reflecting on scripture, mantra, chant, works of service and love. As we cultivate a sound spiritual practice, we begin to connect with and rediscover the Love that we are ….the Love that lies deep within us in our hearts. When we discover and cultivate this connection to the Love that dwells within…..then we KNOW the love that we are and we live that love freely and fully within the world.
How Love Transforms our Relationships
Now….here is where the magic really happens. When we take the time to REMEMBER the LOVE that we Are….it changes how we approach our human call to partnership and intimacy. Instead of looking outside of us for the person who will “complete” us, we draw to ourselves the person that ALSO remembers the love that they are. Now we have two complete, content, happy individuals, who choose to come together to be the love that they are for one another and for the world. We aren’t looking for that person to fill us. Instead, we stand content side by side being the love that we are and being loving toward eachother because the love that we are flows naturally out of us. No longer are we loving for the sake of manipulation….for approval or to get something back. We love because it is who we are and all we can do.
Happy Valentine’s Day
So, this is my Valentine’s wish for all of us:
- That we gift ourselves with the time and the tools to REMEMBER the LOVE that we are.
- That we joyfully live that love in the world
- And for those who are so-called, that they discover a healthy partnership rooted in the mutual love, honoring and respect that arises out of two individuals who have Remembered the Love that They Are…..
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Authentic Freedom Ministries