This week had my social media newsfeed teeming with posts of love and togetherness. I don’t mind. I like seeing happy couples, especially those who have been together for many years because Lord knows relationships take a huge amount of patience for it to work. I myself have contributed to the mushy posts when I uploaded a photo of the breakfast my husband made for me on Valentine’s Day (just like last year, he forgot that we don’t celebrate it) and when I uploaded a photo of us having lunch together (though truthfully, it was more of a I-need-to-get-out-and-get-sunshine-because-this-weather-is-screwing-up-my-head kind of date than anything else). Anyway, I am not anti-relationship or anti-love for that matter. Are you kidding me? I actually believe that love is the only thing that satisfies the philosophical transcendentals Being in that it is true, good, and beautiful. Love is my religion and as Cher puts it, it is the groove in which we move.
That’s why it’s important that we go beyond romantic affiliations when we think of love. I like that Valentine’s Day gives me a chance to pig out on chocolates but I don’t like how commercialism has made it all about couples. If you grew up in the Christian faith, chances are you grew up thinking God is Love. Am not here to affirm or negate that, but I see the parallelism. If God is an omniscient, omnipresent Being then that is also how I perceive love. It is all-encompassing and understanding. It’s not limited to romantic relationships as we know great love can exist between family, friends, or even acquaintances who share the same wounds. It is not confined within the four mirrored walls of jungle-themed motels. It is neither self-serving nor is it self-annihilating. Love is space.
Sacred space. I believe in love as existing from a sacred space that can flow from within or in between relationships (romantic, filial, or platonic). It’s a tragedy that the line from that Tom Cruise movie has often been quoted without analyzing its negative repercussion on our psyche. “You complete me.” Really? Really?! So up until that moment you met that person, you have been walking around with a gaping hole oozing with God knows what? Have we really been conditioned to think that life is not worth living until other people decide to spend time with you? Mind you, this erroneous perspective is not exclusive to couples. We are also guilty of giving way too much of ourselves for our friends, not understanding that a give-and-take relationship does not mean you give and they take.
It all comes back to honoring your sacred space. Take the time to find out what makes you feel loved and try giving it back to yourself. (Geez, I can already imagine the masturbation jokes that will probably come out of that sentence… Whatever makes you happy, though.) Honor the space that exists between you and your partner. (My husband and I have long agreed that we aren’t each other’s soulmates or best friend and we are soooo okay with that). Honor the space between you and the members of your community/workplace/Tinder network. From that space, let love grow. Come to terms with your own understanding of it vis-a-vis relationships and just marvel at its presence. Celebrate it not only through an overpriced dinner every February 14th but through small, yet still significant ways, daily.
I’d like to end this post with a quote from my friend, Bryan Balco, “As I grow older I realize that I no longer believe in Valentine’s Day, I just simply believe in love.” I think he followed it up with a bunch of hashtags which, truthfully, spoiled it for me but you get his point. :p