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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Emrys

A Valentine Story

I like February. It’s a modest month, lingering just long enough to remind us that winter isn’t over before yielding to the madness of March. And right in the middle of our cold weather fatigue, February gives us a heart-warming gift. It reminds us to be romantic. 

The word romance refers to the stories we tell about love, and we tell some whoppers. We demand everything of love and punish ourselves for its disappointments. We condemn love and we celebrate love. We applaud love’s conquests and rage against its betrayals. We hurt.

We yearn. We claim to love so much we could die…or kill. Wow. Just what is love, anyway?

Most of us were taught to think of love as one emotion among many, but love is the sum of all emotions. When we share love, we’re sharing our life-force. When we love ourselves, we’re acknowledging what we truly are. Like truth, love transcends our stories. Like life, love doesn’t need proof in order to exist. Love is pure energy, with no beginning or end. Energy has no limits or conditions, and neither does love. In fact, conditional love isn’t love at all. 

We’re all truth seekers by nature, and love is the simple truth of us. What makes loving someone so complicated is the way we put terms and conditions to it. Restricting our love leads to injuries we can’t fix. Fear of rejection leaves us feeling alone and unwanted. “If you really loved me, you’d prove it…you’d put me first…you’d suffer the way I’m suffering.” Those words may not always be spoken out loud, but they echo the beliefs we have about love. Does any of that seem romantic?

And what of our actions? We can be selfish in our loving, or generous–  it depends on how attached we are to our stories. Love in action is a perfect balance of gratitude and generosity. Expressing gratitude encourages generosity. Generosity inspires more gratitude. This is the way true love enriches our personal dream and the greater dream of humanity: generosity, gratitude, generosity, and on and on and on.

This February, let me remind you that love doesn’t need your stories. Why not let go of a few romantic ideals and remember the truth of you? Sure, a dinner out and a few words of praise are welcome in any relationship, at any time. Sending a dozen roses is an awesome gesture; but loving unconditionally is an everyday, ongoing privilege. In fact, it’s the most romantic thing of all. It puts you in truth’s current…where all the lies you’ve ever told about love are left far, far behind.

Happy Valentine’s Day

from Barbara

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