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Sunday, February 14, 2010

All You Need Is Love

Have you noticed how much businesses are pushing Valentine´s Day as a gift giving holiday? I even read a column in the San Diego Union Tribune about what to do when "undergifting happens" - meaning being given or giving a much bigger/smaller present than getting from the other person. Can love be flourishing in such strict conventions? Here are my thoughts on having a pleasant Day dedicated to the one thing we all want so desperately: LOVE.

She/He who is truthful to her/himself, is comfortable with her/his actions and can easily recognize love whenever it comes her/his way. Whereas this seems to be such a simple sentence (aside from the gender slashes :-)), let me elaborate it further in order to make it more accessible to your benefit:

Valentine´s Day is/can be a vicious circle: A fond feeling towards someone motivates to express this feeling in some way of material subject. The subject is received and judged in terms of how much love it contains depending on how much it cost or how it compares to the presents the friends have received from their sweethearts. Often the subject in hand also gets compared to the expectations that derive from social learning/environment/media/advertising. The love originally behind the act does not stand alone. It´s assigned value is much more a result of the recipients personality. The gift giver itself needs to free himself of whatever result his present produces and stay with the motivation from the heart. At the same time he is advised to pay attention to the reaction, since this will give very valuable information about the personality of the sweetheart.

The above scenario can happen - and burden both sides - when the media has succeeded and the vicious circle starts its circling.

Let´s simplify things: Whereas I am not too happy about all the gift giving at the countless holidays throughout the year (don´t get me wrong - I LOVE cute things, but I also LOVE serene and empty spaces to live in), I do appreciate the fact that there is a day, solely dedicated to LOVE. Life is often so hectic and full that it is easy to forget that what we all are really after is, well, LOVE. The Beatles really nailed it when they sang "All You Need Is Love". So I am thankful for the reminder and make a true effort to get in the spirit of it. With some thought I don´t need to go along with what the ads everywhere want me to buy, and I can find some great things that make sense. My Sweetie is a true romantic and can never have enough candles around. He also loves a good piece of soap. So deep red candles with luscious incense and some sheep milk soap bars in the shape of hearts are my Valentine´s present to him. Of course there are other treats that I would think are the star of the day, but you can figure that out on your own...

I LOVE the Day of Love, I must admit. I love all the hearts and the reds everywhere. So, I invite you to get in the spirit and enjoy it. How about giving a give or doing something nice for someone who you know did not plan on getting you anything? Make it casual, so that she/he does not feel embarrassed about not having something. Also, if someone surprises you with a treat who you have nothing prepared for, enjoy it and say "Thank You". A lot of uhhhing and ahhhing over it is sometimes a much better reciprocation that making sure you give the same value back. We have forgotten how to receive and how to give without expecting back. It is such a wonderful feeling. I dare you to try it out. There we come back to being truthful to yourself. Then, nothing can go wrong...
Happy Valentine´s Day!

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