Today is a frustrating and upsetting day for many people who are important to me. Social pressures and personal anxieties collide to create a terribly perfect storm of guilt, loneliness, resentment, and bitterness. Those who feel the lack of a partner feel it ever more keenly today. Those whose relationships don't follow traditional dynamics face a reminder that they're outsiders. Even those with stable, joyful, happy relationships still may face a minefield to be navigated. Do I make a gesture? Do I plan a date or buy a gift? What if I do and he doesn't? What if I don't and he does? What if I do the wrong thing, and I hurt the one I love?
Awash in a broad cultural message of "Have you DONE ENOUGH to deserve your partner's love? Did you EARN it today by proving your worth as a partner? If you don't have a Valentine, you FAIL but if you have a Valentine and don't do everything right you still FAIL and if you have a Valentine and do everything right your Valentine might still FAIL and not love you enough," many end up lost and angry.
But we don't have to listen. I know it's easier said than done, but we can speak louder and fight harder than that voice.
Love does not fail. Love never fails, because its simple existence is victory. When you stand your ground and let the love flow out from you to the Universe, you beat back the tide of hate, of judgment, of fear and inadequacy, and you are mighty.
Choosing to love is allowing the sacred to act upon the world, through you. When you open your heart first to yourself and then to those around you, what flows through you is divine communion with the deepest essence of the Universe. I don't mean something as limited and finite as gods. I mean the primal stuff, the heady swirl of matter and energy from which everything that has ever been or ever will be is made. A loving spirit is a conduit for pure creation, a beautiful and perfect moment in space -- and that moment can be created every single day, every single second, if you choose to. The longer you spend immersed in love, the easier it becomes to tread those waters and breathe those vapors.
Love is revolution. Everything and everyone you love, you make beautiful, even if it's just for one moment. We're under tremendous pressure to let the ugliness of the world beat us down and back every day, to admit that it's all crap, all worthless, that happiness is a crock or a thing other people get to have. Love is the best defense, the only certain way to shine a grace even the meanest spirit can't deny.
It's been almost a decade since I took this risk, since I committed myself, heart and spirit, to living a life of conscious love. I won't say it's been easy, because it hasn't. This is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I am still doing it. I still fight with the need to have my love validated by reciprocity. I still struggle with the difference between "I don't have a partner" and "I am not loved." I still hold out love to people who don't value or even notice it and haven't quite managed the lack of attachment that would take away that sting. I am not always loved on the terms I want, and I have to remind myself that it's all right to love someone even if I don't like him very much.
But what's made it more than worth it, a thousand times over, are the moments when I stand, basking in the primal power of the Universe, head spinning with the energy of pure potential, loving eyes open to a world so beautiful it breaks and heals my heart all at once. Les Mis told me long ago, "To love another person is to see the face of God." It's more than that.
When I am wrapped in love, I do not see the face of the Goddess.
I wear it.