All You Need Is Love

It’s Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air! Unless you’re a hermit living high in the Himalayas you can’t miss it! There are reminders everywhere. Drug stores and grocers have positioned flowers and balloons and all things red and romantic to greet you as you enter. Love today means commercial profit at the expense of continuing to sell us the fanciful notion that love happens one day of the year and has to do with flowers, candy, and, like I already said, all things red like hearts, sexy lingerie, cute teddy bears with big red hearts or bows, and we can’t forget expensive jewelry! Valentine’s Day enhances the notion that love is about sex and romance, like the perfectly coordinated release of the film “Fifty Shades of Gray.” Whoa, don’t get me wrong, people, been there, done that {well maybe not ALL THAT!} I certainly welcome a little romance now and then, but let’s get real! While The Beatles may have it right when they claim “Love is All You Need,” what does that really mean,? Lots of hearts and flowers, poetry in the morning, obsessive thoughts of the loved one, perfect passionate sex, starry-eyed engagement with your soul mate? Or what? Something else? I was just wondering………..

The media has capitalized on the notion of selling love with the idea of sex, at the expense of leaving out the rest. My generation watched X-rated movies like “The Story of O” and “The Last Tango in Paris” with shock and titillation. Marlon Brando thrusting his lover against a wall as she straddled his body with her legs was almost embarrassing then. Now it is not even X-rated, just another ordinary sexploited film. Today we have E. L. James informing us what love is, when my generation had to resort to D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, which I discovered hidden in my father’s bureau. I made a habit of sneaking stealthily into their room when my parents went out so I could learn about love! This was much more interesting than Cinderella! After all, how else could you expect to learn about love? No one knew much more about it then than they do today.

We spend a lot of time on days other than Valentine’s Day wondering how to get the love we want. No one ever seems to have enough. If it’s not our lover who disappoints us, it’s our mothers {yes, it’s always mother’s fault}, or our kids who don’t love and appreciate us, or our siblings who just live on another planet. So, some of us just keep on looking for satisfaction in that new, exciting, mysterious, romantic relationship, the forbidden one, the secret one, the perplexing one, the trying one, and for a while all of our narcissistic fantasies are fulfilled. We forget about mother, and the kids, and crotchety dad as long as we have that perfect mate, the one who bewitches us so that nothing else matters. And then suddenly one day, the warts begin to appear, one by one, until Prince or Princess Charming slowly fade from sight. And we return to reality, waiting in anticipation to be carried away again. Yes, I’ve been on those magic carpets, but those rides only last as long as the mystery remains.

While there is a time for all that, if you want to really feel love, start by giving. Love isn’t exclusive to your lover! Help those in need and see the thanks in their eyes. Sprinkle kindness throughout your day and see if that doesn’t make you feel as good as a bouquet of flowers. Do something loving for your family members and feel the love in return. Forgive your spouse. See the glass half full, not half empty. Focus on their good points and overlook the bad. After a while you may be surprised at how much love you feel.

The easiest way to get love, however, is to learn to love yourself. Never forget this! Get to know yourself. Honor and grow your strengths. Behave in ways that allow you to take pride in your behavior. Treat yourself with respect and demonstrate this in your appearance and your relationships with others. Learn from you errors. Nurture yourself and treat yourself for good behavior! Take time out every day for yourself, to do the things that restore and nourish you. Treat yourself with the same tenderness as you would a new lover or a newborn child. You deserve it, and if you begin to believe this then those around you will feel it too. Your self love will become infectious and people will want to be around you, and they will love you too.

There is a time for the dazzling love exploited everywhere today. But if you want enduring love, it is based on reality, not fantasy. You better enjoy something more together than just hot sex! Real humans are imperfect, and to discover a perfect love is to see imperfections and to keep on loving anyway. It takes the courage to tread through lots of muck, to hammer out problems, to remain steadfast even when your insides are crying to leave. Because when you and your significant other overcome the obstacles in your path, you are stronger and your bond becomes deeper. Real love is worth the effort. It’s the only way you get it. So, are you willing to make the effort to first love yourself?   Next, do you have the courage to face the challenges of a relationship to see past the fantasy? Can you look beyond hearts and flowers? Are you brave enough to face reality? Or have you booked a trip for the next romantic adventure? What will you choose to find love? I was just wondering……

 

 

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