A few weeks ago, I was feeling a little down. It occurred to me that, in less than two weeks, Valentine’s Day would be here and I hadn’t even decorated for it yet. Love…that was what was needed…more of the Love vibe. So I got up and started decorating.
The mere act of decorating for the one day a year that’s dedicated to Love was uplifting. It brought to mind a song from 1965, “What the World Needs Now Is Love”, originally sung by Jackie DeShannon:
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love No, not just for some but for everyone….”
Love is a mystery to most of us. When asked to define it, we find it difficult to describe. Poets, philosophers, and many other great minds have been hard-pressed to put an exact definition to it over centuries of trying. Even the dictionary shows nine different meanings for “love”. Perhaps that’s because there are so many kinds of love.
Valentine’s Day has been dedicated to the expression of romantic love. While romantic love is something almost every human being wants and desires, there are many other forms of love. You love your children and other family members, your pets, your friends; you love certain foods, a good movie/book/TV show; you love your home and, even possibly, your job. There’s sexual love, which some might argue has nothing to do with love and everything to do with desire. The list goes on and on.
The truth is Love is a feeling which some call affection for a person, place or thing. It can be a deep devotion that borders on the spiritual and, therefore, would include the love of one’s deity or deities. Are you beginning to see why the meaning of ‘Love’ is so elusive?
While February 14th focuses on romantic love, the reality of romantic love is that the “magick” of romantic love often dies, even in long-lasting relationships. People don’t stop loving each other, but love grows and evolves. It becomes something strong and enduring or, sadly, if there is no growth, the relationship ends.
So how does this evolution and growth happen? What is it based on? I’m not sure I can give you an exact answer. Even after 67 years, four husbands, and a good amount of boyfriends, it’s still somewhat of a mystery to me. What I can tell you is that there are certain elements I have discovered to be true.
The first thing I discovered is that Love is great, but if you don’t like the person, the relationship probably won’t last. Huh? I’m not crazy. In that moment of attraction, that moment of love, we know little about the other person and they about us. We only know we are attracted. Later, as things cool down, and we get to know each other, sometimes the question, “What was I thinking?“ pops into our heads. Yeah, it’s a very good idea to like someone as well as to love them.
Then there’s trust. In actuality, trust, to me, is more important than love. What???? Yeah…seriously. Whether we’re talking an intimate relationship, a friendship, a business partnership, a familial relationship, it comes down to trust whether the relationship will last and be fulfilling for both parties. The tough part here is to give every person a chance to be trusted and not be suspicious from the get-go, based on our previous experiences. Distrust, without good reason, can ruin a relationship of any kind very quickly. No one likes to be accused or even just feel suspected of something they’re not doing. That just drives a wedge into a good thing.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the next important factor. We often want to control the people in our lives…mold them into an image that we feel comfortable with, or, in the case of intimate relationships, create the fantasy love that we have always dreamed about. We can each only be who we are. Any changes must be of our own accord, because we realize the validity of making them and not because it will make someone else happy. We need to respect who each of us is at the moment of our meeting. That means respecting their likes and dislikes, their feelings, their opinions, etc. It is a two-way street, no matter what type of relationship we’re talking about, and you should get as good as you give, if you want the relationship to be a good, long-lasting one.
When you boil it all down, what we’re really talking about here is unconditional love. No strings attached. The “If you love something, set it free.” type of love. You love them and yet you don’t want to change them, give no conditions to you loving them, and appreciate what they bring to the relationship they share with you.
Unconditional Love is what the world needs now and it is definitely what the world has so little of. It shouldn’t matter the color or one’s skin, their sexual orientation, their spiritual beliefs, their political affiliations, etc. Until we can move past our biases and love people just for being alive and sharing this planet, we will suffer….all of us.
My solution? Make every day about Love. Offer a smile to a stranger or a helping hand to someone in need. Love is about caring. You would be so surprised what each of us, doing one small act of kindness and love, can do to change the vibration of this planet. What we do ripples out and affects the Whole. Yes, we are that powerful…each and everyone of us.
So, on this Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to carry the light and love of this day into each and every day that follows. If what the world needs now is Love, then join me and become a torch-bearer of Love, spreading it to all we meet each day. Then watch what happens!