Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day--How Do You See It? I Want to Know!

Here are two beautiful Valentines from two of my friends:

(1) From kate
This is the key, isn't it? To so many things...maybe to everything...

(2) From Lori-Lyn
So much love, as always, from Lori-Lyn.

These made me feel so loved! Many of you also had special blog posts for today. I celebrated too for those of you with "traditional" Valentine celebrations with your mates.

Are you like me? I love the valentines, so much. There is a part of me that still longs for the "traditional" valentine, and I wonder why?

My belief is that the Greatest Love that we need to find and cultivate in this life is love for ourself and love from our spiritual Beloved--these overlap in a mystical way that I do not yet understand. I would say I'm only beginning to realize and celebrate this Greatest Love

So that's the consciously held belief. Then there is the yearning, and the yearning fights with the belief. I want the hearts and flowers. I want the romantic dinner out at the lovely restaurant. I just want to be someone's special Valentine. I think I've wanted that forever. Maybe that is promoted by my cultural upbringing, Hollywood, etc. Or maybe it is some romantic flaw I have that is due to some odd personality weakness. I don't know. I just know that this is how I am, for whatever reason.

Valentine's Day is yet another holiday that I try to make into something meaningful, and succeed to some extent. I still struggle with feelings of being left out, though, as though like everything else, it's for other people but not for me. I feel that way about Easter and Christmas too. I wonder if it will always be this way.

How about you? Are you a slave to our culture's expectations for Valentine's Day? Do you truly find fulfillment in self-love and love from your Higher Power? Love from family and friends? Or do you yearn for a special and particular romantic love from someone? What are your thoughts? Is anyone else writing/talking about this?

Let me know, xoO


kate i said...

Thank you Olivia for linking to my Valentine post...I feel very honoured (and loved!) by this sweet gesture. (and my apologies for the length of this reply!)

These are such good questions and yes, I have, and to some extent still do, struggle with the expectations of our cultural holidays...especially Christmas. Bob and I don't do the big romantic thing because the expectations bug us both...we feel kind of manipulated by the commercial aspect of it all. (We went out for coffee and biscotti together this morning as our romantic gesture lol!)

It's a complex question really but like so many things in life, I think when we stop "needing" something, then we let go of the energy that keeps it away and it can then slip into our lives quite easily. It's such a tricky catch-22!

I think I'm finally learning to be gentle with myself by realizing that allowing my mind to stray to thoughts that are painful...to things I can't change and have no control over...is the worst unkindness I can inflict on myself. I'm (finally) beginning to catch this behavior fairly quickly now and shutting/slamming the door on it. I'm realizing that I do have control over it and am choosing not to be mean to myself in this way any more. This self love has been a long time coming and it's been hard work!!

You don't have any flaws Olivia...we've all been manipulated by our culture and the media. You are an amazing, caring and loving woman. Hugs to you my dear Valentine friend!

Angie D in Ohio said...

Happy Valentine's Day Olivia!

I loved Valentine's Day as a child, making your Valentine Mailbox so you could receive those little goofy cards, and I still pass those cards out at work.

My Hubby and I never really celebrated Valentine's Day since that particular day doesn't really hold any meaning for us. Our "valentine's day" is March 23rd, honoring the first date we went one.

Easter doesn't really hold meaning for me except a time for my family to get together and of course Mom's pickled eggs. It was more meaningful when Alex was younger and the excitement of the Easter Bunny leaving his basket.

I'm rambling... I do enjoy doing little Valentine treats for people at work... I wish you lived closer... I would drop by with a secial treat.

love ya...


Angie D in Ohio said...

yikes.... I can't type tonight....

one = out
secial = special


patti said...

Hi O!

Valentines Day is not on our radar! My hub thinks it is merely commercial manipulation! We give romantic gestures throughout the year, at whim, that reassure each other that we are loved. These are often practical things like me making his lunch, him doing Mr Fixit things for me.

I saw an older couple across the street on Valentines Day - he was deaf and using sign language - she was holding a rose - they held hands - it melted my heart! So I do love the idea of valentines day, but it should not be relegated by couples to only 14th Feb.

In short, I love love whenever it turns up!

laundrygirl said...

Love you!
I wrote about it...

Lori-Lyn said...

Thank you so much. I, too, feel honored and loved that you linked to me here.
I've always loved Valentine's Day, but it was really only in the past few years that I've been able enjoy it fully without a bit of wistful longing.
I think it's because I do truly feel fulfillment in love from a higher power - which, in turn, feeds the love I feel in all of my relationships.
I do think, thought, that life is like this. We live in a world with cultural ideas and expectations. Many moments are bitter sweet. There's often a tug in multiple directions.
What I do know is that I love you and I'm grateful to know you.
Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Everyday.

CrystalChick said...

I haven't quite managed self-love and love from the Higher Power to a degree that allows me to not yearn for love from others at times. Work in progress...

The only holiday we really celebrate big is Christmas because it's more a seasonal celebration and the decorations and tree are up for awhile and we visit people and have company here, etc.
The other holidays vary. Over the years, we've sometimes celebrated with dinners or family gatherings, gotten dressed up for Halloween and done up the Easter baskets. We don't have specific traditions that we follow all the time though.
I guess in some ways we are slaves to the commerciality of a few holidays.
As for V Day, Ron and I have been married for 28 years now and there have been times he's gone all out with wild gifts (a baby iguana we named 'Cupid' one year, a tattoo of a small heart with my name in it on his chest) and sometimes flowers, candy, or jewelry. Other years, nothing much. Yesterday, I gave him some candy because I was at the CVS buying some for the kids and I noticed they had something he likes. We went out for burgers and then stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for coffee. That's something we might do any night of the week though.
He asked me if I wanted anything in particular and I told him he could buy me a few supplies for my jewelry biz. So next time I order something, it's on him. Of course, he pays for most things anyway.

You are loved and thought of by many! Know that!!

Here's a day after Valentine's Day {{{HUG}}}

~Karen C.L. Anderson~ said...

I definitely fall into the "work in progress" category when it comes to self love...and I am learning to tap into the love of a higher power. When it comes to the love between my husband and me, I have learned that he loves me in so many simple, quiet, unflashy ways...and that these are so much more valuable than the traditional, prescribed ways because they come directly from him. His support, his loyalty, his respect mean more than anything to me...

Olivia said...

I am answering your amazing comments in a separate post, but I wanted to also make a few personal comments here that are more appropriate than in a blog post.

kate, omg, don't apologize for the length of your comment! I so appreciate all of the support, the thought that went into it, and of course the love and validation!! I'm encouraged that you and Bob don't buy into the commercial stuff :)

EB, I loved those goofy cards too. One year I made LoveHubbie a trail of 100 of those interspersed with rose petals from the front door to the bedroom. I think that was pretty darn romantic. I think it's a great tradition to celebrate your first date. I would love for you to drop by for Valentine's Day or anytime!!

Patti, I so agree that simple things make us feel loved. I too enjoy seeing elderly couples who still love each other--this is love that has endured and that everyone know is REAL.

Kristine, I loved your memories on your private blog. I think that listening to a Lenny Kravitz album really loud with a picture of him is a GREAT way to enjoy a concert--this made me smile!

Lori-Lyn, you radiate love all the time--thank you! And happy birthday again!

Mary, I hear you. This is where I am as well; I think I especially have such a ways to grow! It sounds like you do different things but that you have a good time celebrating holidays. It sounds like you and your husband know that you love each other, may do different things, but don't NEED the reinforcements of various trappings to prove it. Thanks for the post-Valentine's Day hug!

Karen, these things--support, loyalty, and respect--are invaluable! I think that in many ways these define love. How can there be love without them? I too am a work in progress...and just starting.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and for making this discussion so fruitful...

All my love to you, xoO