Valentine’s Day: Love and Sacrifice

Valentine’s Day: Love and Sacrifice

It’s Valentine’s Day, and either you’re going on a date, staying in with your beloved (?), bemoaning the lack thereof, or oblivious. Because Valentine’s Day is for lovers, right? Wrong! Well, at least not always. Until the 14th century and Goeffrey Chaucer, it celebrated a multitude of saints and the value of sacrifice. In the US, it became an official holiday to celebrate not romance, but friendship. I suppose the difference is academic. Whether we’re with friends or lovers, if we want those relationships to last, we’re going to need to sacrifice.

When we fall in love, we fall into a madness beyond our reasoning minds. We don’t fall in love with the person who’s right for us, but the worst possible choice. Or we fall out of love despite a house, a life, and children together. We argue not respectfully, but cruelly, essentially pushing away the person with whom we share the greatest devotion.

This clip, from Ted.com, I love (and I suggest you click on the hyperlink starting this paragraph, as it takes forever to download the video.) It explores the downside, perhaps, of our thinking mind, and our ability to override that thinking mind in succumbing to love:

Yet, is sacrificing reason for love so wrong? In my life, I’ve had the privilege of knowing a few couples who’d been together for many years, and they’ve been generous enough to give me the 411 on what keeps them together. Respect, shared values, good communication, complimentary goals in life all play a crucial part. Mostly, they scoff at the notion of a 50/50 relationship. For each one of them, nothing is held back in wait for the other person. Each has had to sacrifice an opinion, their ego, time, money and energy…and at the end, there is a sweetness and a deep understanding of each other’s quirks, wounds, and secret super powers, an energetic dance far beyond the hearts and flowers of what we think of as romance.

Don’t get me wrong. I love individualism, and am fascinated by each human’s unique inner world. But it is in the creation of a shared world, and the sacrifices one needs to make in one’s own ego in order for that creation to flourish, that our purpose in the world is revealed.

So celebrate today with someone you love, a lover, a friend, yourself. And know that even as you enjoy this delicious connection, that for it to grow, sooner or later St. Valentine must have his due.

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