This time of year there is a lot of talk about love, especially the romantic kind of love. Valentine’s Day is approaching, so there are a lot of references to romantic love glaring at you in every shop window and advertisement. Sometimes I’ve had the attitude that it was all about marketing a product instead of being about Love or Intimacy and those subjects deserves far more than one night of the year to celebrate, as it is central to our lives. Finding the right companion and living for a long time (or “forever”) with that special “someone” is significant for almost everyone.
Having married the “man of my dreams” in 1981, I felt that I was fortunate. My years in college had been fraught with abuse and violence from men, so I did feel that my future wouldn’t really be all hearts and flowers with men… much less one man in particular. I was terribly wrong, as I met my husband while at work and we both “fell in love” simultaneously.
We married and proceeded to have 5 children together, as well another child from his first marriage. What started as love never ended, but the form ultimately did. We are no longer married, yet he remains one of my greatest teachers and most of the time a dear friend.
We don’t go to the same places, drive similar cars, live or behave remotely like each other; yet we are inextricably connected. The connection is not only due to our enormous family, but due to how much we’ve traversed as a couple over almost 30 years.
The original “love” experience was significant, yet maybe it wasn’t simply a feeling of love. Could it be that the two of us knew, on some level, that we were essential companions for our respective individual growth? No one in my life has given me a greater gift than this man; he was my partner and the father of all of my children. Deeper still, no one has forced me to find where the love still resided when I was despondent from all the challenge our relationship offered me at times…
Love played the role of peacemaker and soother for us… and it was always there. No matter how bad it got between us, what kept us relating was that there was love there… buried, unreachable and certainly not the ooey-gooey sort of love that romantic love can offer. It was deep love at a level of the soul we both had to feel for the other. Recognizing that and appreciating it’s existence has been the element that keeps our lives connected in a positive way.
Love lasts forever and even though relationships change, they never end. Ever.
It’s funny, but I realized something over the years about love and intimacy with another. Everyday holds a jewel of possibility for you to be loving and intimate with your lover, but only through offering true love and intimacy to yourself, first.
This is the only way to achieve true intimacy with another.
As a young woman I didn’t realize this fact. I hadn’t made a deep connection with myself the way that I have now. It took some bumps and bruises in the arena of love to fully understand how beautiful and amazing love was and to recognize that I was my best lover, my best friend, my best companion.
No one outside of me could ever been as present for me as I could be with myself, or even love me as honestly as I could do for myself.
Regardless of whether you have a “Valentine” to share a meal with or buy a present for, you have someone even more valuable to give some goodies to. Here are some suggestions;
- Take YOU out for a lovely meal.
- Buy YOU a beautiful gift that symbolizes how you feel about you.
- Write YOU a poem that expresses your appreciation for being alive.
- Linger with YOU for a bit in front of the mirror.
- Be in Love with YOU first & then go spread it around.
When you say “I love you” to someone… you are really expressing your love for yourself. They are showing you your best and potentially your worst sides, which is so valuable to see… thank that beautiful being with all your heart and then kiss yourself, too.