When I was a little boy my mother used to sit down with me a few days before Valentine’s Day and help me make up my list of classmates.
She told me it was very important that I not leave anyone out, because everyone was deserving of love and there was no limit on it.
Those were wise words, but I dreaded Valentine’s Day regardless. Each year it was easier to fear the cards I may not receive than embrace the ones I did. And it never occurred to me that perhaps that particular classmate didn’t have money to make or buy the cards, or a parent who would help them. What I saw instead, if I wasn’t included, was the absence of the valentine rather than all the others that were coming in.
How often is that true of us when we’re looking for love – we fail to recognize what is already there.
What the valentine does demonstrate is that love is an action – and when we recognize and acknowledge that love coming in to us, we are filled with it. The opposite of love isn’t hatred – it’s indifference. It’s that failure in us to both give and receive.When we use that kind of energy in our daily interactions it’s no wonder that we may fail to receive the love that we would like to have. Love has to be clean. It comes with no agenda – just a purity of spirit. Begin first with love, and then see how things unfold. The alternative is to withhold – and that is a certain path to conflict.
So this Valentine’s Day think of someone who perhaps you have been in conflict with, or distant from, or simply haven’t got around to talking to for a while.
As Ernest Holmes said: “the world has learned enough through suffering and punishment.”