The Subject Tonight is Love


Inspired by Valentines’s Day, and tRadha Krishna  34 -1he fact that for the first time in a long while, I actually have a Valentine, this one’s about love.

I’ve always thought Valentine’s Day was pretty cheesy, and still do. I’m a bit suspicious and a little bit wary of ‘romantic’ love – the kind that is polished and packaged and tied up with a pink silk ribbon. The kind that ‘Who Weekly’ make a fortune from – shallow and superficial – full of projections and the promise of perfect lasting happiness.

But I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes to real  love. I’m a sucker for a story of a love that beat the odds, or stood the test of time. Of a wife who bathed her husband’s emaciated body after cancer had taken his last breath, because she knew that he was more than just his wasted frame. Or a love that saved, a love that transformed, a love that healed or taught or shared.

Even “love at first sight”, or “I just knew” is cool with me, as long as the attraction is more than skin deep.

Real love, it seems, needs both grace and grit – the grace that draws two souls together (even if at first an unlikely match), at just the right place and just the right time. And the grit to stick at it once the cracks start to show – to face and embrace our wounds and our shadows; to accept and forgive what we never thought we could.

If there’s only grace then it probably won’t last, and if only grit then it’ll wear you both out.

Unfortunately there’s no formula – we have to learn as we go. But nor do I feel that there’s such a thing as wasted time. Every experience, every heart break, every relationship no matter how badly it may have ended, has made us who we are today. More important than duration, or whether we are single or sharing, is whether we feel we are continuing to grow.

I had a great chat the other day with a girlfriend, about relationships, where we decided that the ultimate question should be something like, “does he help you to grow?,” or “does she help make you a better person?”. This we thought much more valuable than “does he/she check all the boxes on your list?”

Because like the Divine, like the guru, like our children, like our friends, like Life, nobody’s ever going to be what we want them to be all the time, but they might just teach us to accept them as they are (and therefore ourselves as we are).

Life is full of surprises and my guy has been one of those. I am so enjoying the company, the humour, the support, the fun, the mutual teaching, the soul-baring conversations, and the sing-a-longs and harmonies… but most of all, I like what Love is doing to me. It’s making me a better person. It’s teaching me to live and let live, to embrace and accept… when to hold on and when to let go.

Love is helping me to build on my strengths and overcome my weaknesses. It’s showing me both my light and my shadows – my enormous capacity for selfishness as well as for compassion and forgiveness. When I choose to love him I know that I’m choosing to love me too. Standing by him is standing by me.

Love can be so many things, and behave in so many different ways. It can bowl us over, or sneak up from behind. It can be boiling hot or a slow steady simmer. More important than how it shows up, let’s ask ourselves instead does it offer us the room and the support from which to grow? And if the answer is yes, then stick with it, because my heart says that committing to the challenge of learning how to love, is about so much more than just two people – it’s about how we’re going to heal this world.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The subject tonight is Love
And for tomorrow night as well,
As a matter of fact
I know of no better topic
For us to discuss
Until we all
Die!                                ~ Hafiz

Om Namo Narayani!