Marion Atmo’s thoughts on Valentine’s Day.
Love is really a ‘many splendoured thing’, appearing in so many different shades and flavours. Falling in love with someone special, loving your child, honouring a parent or teacher, enjoying and hanging out with friends. It’s St. Valentine’s Day tomorrow – where romantic love reigns supreme in the exchange of cards, gifts and cuddly red hearts.
Romantic love many centuries ago was different. Troubadours sang about courtly love, the expression of love that would never be answered in the flesh; unrequited love. Part of the motivation of this was that the knight, the one pursuing his never-to-be-owned lady, could then discover a divine love within. Great tales and songs of these lovers still exist today – Tristan and Isolde is one. Something in us is touched by romantic love taken to such a height that it seems not of the earth. A love longed for, sacrificed for, but never attained in marriage or even a one-night fling.
It seems crazy today, when romantic, or is it lustful, love can be satisfied so easily and quickly. Love is great when it’s there. But what happens when it’s gone? I don’t just mean romantic love, but the feeling of loving in its totality. Life becomes empty and meaningless, even when you’re surrounded by a loving partner, friends and family. Where has love gone? Over decades I’ve heard the phrase: Love yourself first and then you can love others. But if you don’t feel love at all?
Love is not something you can force.
The desert of love times are hard – I’m in one now. In my last blog I wrote about Brigit, Celtic goddess, bringing in the new. But until the new arrives, I am waiting. I daily draw on all my resources not to grasp for solutions, or reach for sticking plasters to cover up the harshness of this experience. But I recently came across this wonderful piece by the writer Sue Monk Kidd:
‘There is a deep wisdom in giving up the fight to make it go away. When we instead come home to our path, we come home to what is. You are where you are. So be there.
‘Stop trying to protect yourself from the harshness of right now, fleeing into a long fabrication of how it’s going to be one day. That’s a way of avoiding the here-and-now-truth of our lives.’
– from The Dance of the Diffident Daughter
Many years ago I opened a fortune cookie with a quote from Osho:
‘If you can allow love to happen, there is no need for prayer, there is no need for meditation, there is no need for any church, any temple.’ *
This now sustains my waiting. If God is Love – as not only Jesus but so many mystics bear witness to – then Love is always available. I can be receptive to ALLOWING love. Not hoping for things to be the way they were, not grasping for my worn-out version of love. I see how exhausting it’s been, subtly proving myself through so much activity, because love was not present. Trusting love is there, even if it’s out of sight, is to rest in the process of love. Love cannot be pushed or hurried.
So Happy Valentine’s Day!
*) source Osho, My Way: The Way of the White Clouds, Ch 7, Q 1
Previously published on Marion Atmo’s blog: pleasejustsit.blogspot.com – Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Comments are closed.