Friday, February 11, 2011

The Voice of Valentines Past

The heart has reasons that reasons cannot know or so says Blaise Pascal. What are your thoughts about love and Valentines Day? Love has so many different voices, so many different accents, that it is hard to imagine that any two are the same. I believe this is so because each of us as individuals are unique and strangers to the world of another. I cannot really know what love means to you any more than you can know for me. We are told that love is patient, and kind, and pliable. Poets have spent their entire lives writing of love; authors have built entire stories, sometimes epic, trying to describe something that has no descriptor.

As a young woman seeking to find my soul mate, my great love, I was truly lost. The ghosts of my Valentines past, my naivete, my idealism, kept me doubting and fearful. Combine that with my life experiences from watching people I love be tormented in love, not to mention my own failings at it, left me frozen with fear that my soul mate would never arrive at my doorstep. So when my mentor and friend suggested I needed to make a list of who and what I thought that person was, what I wanted love to look like with that person, it made sense. Then he gave me the really hard job. Once done he told me to become that list.

As a mature adult, with children and now grandchildren, I only know what I feel. Sometimes when I look at my husband, my children or my grandchildren I find myself diving into a deeper pool of love that almost takes my breath away. But if I have learned anything about love, for me, I have learned I am only really loving when I am in the state of love. And I know I am in this state when I am patient, compassionate, kind, thoughtful, listening to the words of another instead of overlaying my own thoughts and ideas onto them. I know I am in the state of love when I find myself in more innocuous situations like when I drive with more courtesy or give up my place in a grocery line to someone else who has fewer items. When I am in this state, I know I have left the ghosts of Valentine Past behind me. That any opinion I have garnered from my own mistaken perception of love is useless in my life if I am to love at all.

There was a time when I had the fortunate and blessed opportunity to have a very wonderful man sing me love songs. So I close with one of his best sung songs...I wish you shelter from a storm, a cozy fire to keep you warm, I wish you health, but more than wealth, I wish you love. I invite you to shut the door on yesterday and open the present ... there is a wonderful gift waiting for you. Happy Valentines Day.

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