Tuesday, February 10, 2009

L-O-V-E

Whether you're humming "L.O.V.E" or shouting "Love Stinks" lately, the inevitable is coming...in just 4 days...

Valentine's Day!


It's such an odd holiday, really, wrapped up in chocolate coating and Hallmark tissue paper. For those who may be single, the day has a tendency (not always, mind you) to exasperate the feeling of being single and alone (even if only in your head). For those in relationships, it's a day programmed in our psyche where we MUST buy gifts and go out to dinner and spend all kinds of money to show the person you're with that you REALLY love them. But the TRUTH is that if you really love the person you're with, you should be expressing your love every day, not just on Valentine's Day. Plus, as J Lo would say, "Love Don't Cost a Thing." But I digress.

Last week, I watched Love and Other Disasters - a cute film about the complexity of budding relationships. One of the lines struck me: "Love is not an event but a process." That's probably one of the best arm-chair therapist clichés about love and romance that has graced the silver screen (anyone remember these cheese-filled quotes: "Love means never having to say you're sorry" or "You had me at hello"?) For all the advise dispensed out there to, well, just about anyone who is of age to be in a relationship, what it comes down to is this: You gotta figure it all out for yourself.

Still...think about it. Love is a process. You may experience love in a new relationship, but it grows deeper over time (or at least, it should); it evolves. It's not like once you're in a relationship (or married, even) that you've reached the summit and that moment is the end-all, be-all. There's more, if you allow it.

The other thing is that it's a process within ourselves. Hopefully, we grow and mature and learn from the other person. If the relationship doesn't work out, maybe even ending horribly, with any bit of luck, you'll come out more aware of yourself and what your needs are. {This has been a PDA from yours truly}. But seriously. I didn't truly understand that until just a few years ago and I think most people don't. You have to love yourself first before truly loving others.


So, while Valentine's Day is that "special time of year" to celebrate the love of your life, take time to love your life and yourself, too. Here is a big hug from me to get you started!