It’s Valentine’s Day 2023. I spent more time than usual contemplating how to start my day. What would be most meaningful? There was a prayer of gratitude, texts to friends and family, a social media post for Snapdragon Journal to remind those who aren’t feeling loved that we love them, a post in honor of my mom who will be 80 in a couple of days. And there were text messages between me and my lover. (I love that term – more on that later.)
As I thought about him and this day that gets so much "love", I received the answer to my earlier question: I would spend the morning with a cup of coffee while I write before “going to work.” It's been awhile since I've blogged and today felt like a good day to add a post.
For decades, I have been studying love. I’ve read more relationship books than you can imagine. Not so much "how to get a man" books but the ones like Enchanted Love. I remember even before all the reading I would go to Hallmark at the corner of campus and buy Valentine's Day cards even though I didn't have a Valentine! (I still have the one in the photo -- from 1990s. It cost $1.65.)
If you’re someone I've met up with more than three times, I’ve probably engaged you in a conversation about love. Though little of my poetry is about romance, it is one of the areas of life I'm most curious. Not so much about dating tips and fairytales, but on how love develops. How is it sustained? What makes love love? You know, all the questions you have to live.
Fast forward to now, when I've come to know first hand that romantic relationships can be a way for God to speak to us and to love us back into our wholeness. I used to think that a man was to make me whole. If I’m loved romantically then I am valued. I mean, that’s what society shows and teaches us, right? We aren’t complete without a partner, right? That's a lie and I’m SO glad that I realized this earlier on and went most of my adult life solo, so that I could learn to love myself deeply and completely – learning I am 100% valuable without being in a partnership.
My singleness and “doing the work” for my own healing and self-love were how I knew what type of relationship I wanted and needed. I had to define for myself what a healthy relationship looked like. And then I had to become the woman I admired to be able to enter and maintain that type of relationship. I don't always get this right. And I didn't do it to attract someone, but that seems to be how the Universe works.
Here I am, gifted to experience the beauty and depth of self-love mirrored in a conscious relationship. My lover wonderfully holds up a mirror for me to see my beauty and my pain. My therapist says, when I’m struggling with something that also to me seems simple, “that’s the wounding.” It’s a sign for me to go back and heal whatever may be lingering that’s causing me pain today. My lover shows that to me but not out of malice. It's really a way that God uses him to show me my shadow self and how to love it. And I do the same for him. This is partnership -- the part that isn't seen on social media posts or assumed but what signifies to us the gift that exceeds our expectations.
Love is growing me up.
Thank God I attracted this beautifully complex man who loves deeper than anyone I have met. He challenges me, he remains present in the midst of conflict, he is so incredible emotionally strong and gentle, he is forgiving, he looks at me through the eyes of love. Nope, he’s not perfect and our relationship has its ups and downs but this relationship is perfect for me. That’s why I call him my “lover.” He loves as fully as he can and that love surrounds me so much that I then see him and me with new eyes each day. And when we have bad days, it’s the love that keeps us coming back to have the clarifying conversations.
I can see why it's now that he has come into my life in this way and not earlier. I needed to be at a place of maturity and self-love to be able to receive the lessons at the highest level. I don't always get this right either! Sometimes my feelings get hurt or I make an assumption, but let me tell you, 10-20 years ago, I would be a lot worse at being loving, no matter what my ego would have me to believe. LOL. And, because I am full of my own being, I know better how to hold him when he needs to be held. It's a mutual seeing and being.
Last year, my word was "ease" (see my last blog post). There's something magical about being at ease and trusting that the journey will provide you with everything you need and more. No one knows tomorrow and though I like to plan certain things, I'm completely okay with God writing my story, plot twists and all.
My lover just texted me a song. It's De La Soul's "Eye Know." He did this because he loves the group and as a tribute to David 'Trugoy The Dove' Jolicoeur, a founding member of the group, and because he is love. This is my kind of Valentine's Day because it's everyday love.
A creative spirit, coach & corporate professional, Jacinta White shares how she merges, what she calls, "the sacred messiness of life" & her love for all things artsy. Follow for tips, prompts, musings & more!