Thursday, February 16, 2012

Post-Valentine's Day Reflections

Oh, so many of you shared such helpful things with me after my Valentine's Day post! Thank you for sharing with me how you see Valentine's Day. I wanted to summarize and highlight parts of your comments that really helped me here, not just in the comments, because really they are so good that they warrant a separate post. I did put some personal notes in the comments for each of you too though :)

Many of your eschew the cultural and materialistic demands of the holiday. It was interesting to me that this is true of people with good, strong marriages.

kate shared about some of the energetic factors involved; she wrote that when we stop needing something, stop striving with a strong attachment, then in some way we release the resistance and what we want can slip into our lives easily, naturally.

kate also wrote that it is unkind to oneself to allow our minds to entertain painful thoughts--things that cannot be changed or controlled. It is sort of an invited misery, as I see it. kate writes that it is hard work to practice self-love and self-kindness with the mind but it is worth it.

Angie shared how she and her husband have created their own way to commemorate their love by celebrating their first date instead of Valentine's Day. It's not as busy of a time and there are no long lines to compete with.

Patti lives the themes of the love celebrated at Valentine's Day all year long. She and her husband let each other know throughout the year, especially in simple ways, that they love each other. He doesn't like the commercialism of Valentine's Day at all. She shared a story of an elderly couple's love and how moving it was--I find that the most moving love story of all--a story of love that has endured through years of life's trials.

Kristine wrote her feelings about Valentine's Day on her blog and linked to it. She wrote about how competitive it can sometimes be and how she focuses on sharing love in general with everyone. I know that many of you do this. Love For All. I am going to definitely focus on this next Valentine's Day and be open to love wherever I find it and wherever I can give it in 2013. She also shared some memories she called cheesy, but that I think are super-cool. Demonstrations of love--I'll take all of them--no matter how expressed! I love what she wrote: "Every day offers the chance to love extravagantly." So very true! She also shared a link to this good-good-good Valentine's Day story--everyone go there--you'll love it!

Lori-Lyn wrote about how she can now enjoy Valentine's Day without wistful longing because of a relationship with her higher power. Even though I wrote about this in my post, I so quickly forget and let myself be taken back to be mired in thoughts of intense and painful longing. She also brought up that it's okay to have things be both/and--to be bittersweet. We don't always have to be one thing or the other.

Mary wrote about how it's challenging to get our self-love and love from a higher power to the degree that we don't feel that we need it from other's at time. I agree and feel as though I am just beginning on this journey. She and her husband, as many of the strong marriages of my friends, celebrate but don't need anything in particular as they already know that they love each other. This is a good place to be in.

Karen wrote about the support, loyalty and respect that her husband extends to her throughout the year, thus not requiring extravagant displays on a particular day. Isn't this what love really is---and how can there be love without them. Without support? Without loyalty? Without respect?

I have learned so much from all of you. I am so glad I posted that post because without it I would have not learned so much from the shared wisdom of each of you. Thank you my friends, for how you bless me on Valentine's Day and every day! xoO

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patti said...

I loved reading those comments also O. Thanks for reflecting them back to us in a way that makes sense.

Being gentle and compassionate, encouraging and true to ourselves - being our own best friend and not relying on others for reassurance that we are worthy.

The link you shared was a perfect example - thanks!

Kelly said...

Oh, my! You have posted THREE posts since I was last here. I can't keep up. But I am NOT complaining. I love it when you write a lot here.

Had I been here in time, I would have said that I don't need anything on Valentine's Day and I let my partner know that. I feel secure in his love; he does sweet things for me all the time, and I am not a big fan of commercialized holidays and the way the capitalist machine tries to blackmail us all into spending some of our money.

Nevertheless, I was thrilled when he showed up at my door with my first ever orchid.

I think my position is different from yours though, because I have has many very adoring boyfriends over the years and have been on the receiving end of flowers at the office, negligees, chocolates, poetry, creative dates, scavenger hunts and you name it. Had I never had anyone go overboard for me in this way on this day, then I probably would be longing to have that experience JUST ONCE! It's only human, I think.

Olivia said...

Patti, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Oh my, I learned so much! It's very powerful when you read everything together, isn't it?

Kelly, yes, I was inspired :) I love when that happens. And actually I was just so moved by what everyone shared.

Kelly, thank you for adding your views on Valentine's Day. It is indeed such a time for marketing to go haywire. Sylvain is SO CREATIVE and thoughtful and sweet, isn't he? An orchid!

And you are right...I think I'm just being human. I have had boyfriends (but especially husbands) over the years, but I wouldn't call them adoring. I think it's probably like other things that I've wanted, done, and then been satisfied and not needed to repeat endlessly. It just hasn't happened for me yet....

Love to both of you, xoO

kate i said...

Olivia when all the comments are summarized as you have done, it's quite really pulled together, the essence of them. Thanks for doing this! And I loved the story in the link that Kristine shared!

Olivia said...

I'm so glad, kate...yes, I agree it is so powerful! And in the future when I (or anyone really) comes back to the Valentine's posts or sees this post they won't miss the wisdom in the comments...Peace, love, joy, xoO