Happy Valentine Day to one and all!
I watched the sun rise this morning and didn’t take a photo right away. To leave the vista, and capture it in a digital form would ruin the experience. So here is the majestic sun, higher than normal, later on, and masked by stratocumulus clouds. I did some research to find out why we decided to say the ‘sun rises’ and not that ‘the Earth is moving on its axis on a daily basis, during its’ yearly journey around the sun’. It would be a mouthful each time if you wanted to describe how night turns to day, and day to night. Sun-rise and sun-set is much easier…but who decided? I will continue the research.
Two weeks without coffee.
I was tempted to-day, as I made coffee for my early morning visitors. I abstained.
My old self did kick in with the usual, “So what if you have a cup, who’s to know.” The possible self replied, “You’d be fooling yourself my dear woman.” And on went the dialogue and no coffee was had. My resolve grows stronger and stronger, the headaches are coming and going, giving up anything has its withdrawal symptoms, and all the crazy old thinking that goes with it.
One of my many favourite studies is mythology, and its’ relationship to the past and the present in all of us.
There are numerous mythologies of the sun gods and goddesses in ancient traditions around the world. The Greek God Apollo, was a Sun God, and you can read here how love, punishment, betrayal and revenge created havoc in his life, despite all his glorious attributes. Imagine that it is he who illuminates the stage in today’s photo for lovers/partners, where they woo and romance each other this Valentine’s Day in all kinds of ways.
What do you think he would say about LOVE?
What would Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love, desire, beauty, fertility, the sea, and vegetation, have to say about LOVE?
Or Venus, who is a Roman Goddess of love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and military victory;
Or would Áine, an Irish goddess of love, summer, wealth and sovereignty;
What would EROS the mischievous god of love, a minion and constant companion of the goddess Aphrodite have to say about LOVE in 2012?
Is there a modern day mythological story on LOVE in our cultures?
Joseph Campbell, one of my heroes for over twenty years, who studied comparative mythologies most of his life, concluded that in today’s society we lack any understanding of mythological stories, especially in the US. We don’t know the classical ancient stories that demonstrate a lot about emotion and feeling that facilitate our understanding of both man and woman and our life on earth.
The reason I bring mythology into the blog, is that we create our own personal mythologies about ourselves and about love. What myths are you living? What myths did you grow up with as a child? What are your emerging myths?
Have a read on personal myths here. When I was a child I thought my parents knew everything, and when as I grew older I discovered that they didn’t, I understood it was a myth, not a lie, but a story I told myself. I have created many mythical stories in my life, some life-giving and some not. We do that all through our lives. To-day on Valentine’s Day, let’s check out the myths you and I may tell ourselves about that special loved one in our lives now or had in the past.
The mythic love story:
I love this person soooo much, because they make me feel wanted, cherished, desirable, sexy, beautiful, strong, poetic, smart and in general very good about myself. They ignite every cell in my being, and I glow when I think of them. And to-day, I am going to prepare a love feast and a romantic atmosphere to celebrate this international day of love with this person I love. There is something pleasing about celebrating it on the same day as other lovers. We will feed each other morsels of the food I have prepared over supper, and sip our favourite wines, as we relax in each other’s company, smiling, listening to romantic music, and talking about some of the wonderful memories we share. We kiss and touch in long lingering strokes throughout our supper. We are having supper ‘picnic style’ on our great big bed, and we are very scantly clothed, with only candle light illuminating our love stage. We will read love poems to each other over supper, and later we will curl into each other’s bodies and make sensuous love ‘til dawn.
The alarm goes off and it’s time to go to work. We suspend the love myth in the realms of our own minds. The other person may have completely different feelings, thoughts and sensations that create his/her love myth.
Doesn’t he know I don’t drink coffee, so why offer it?
Doesn’t she know that I don’t eat cranberries so why offer them?
S/he didn’t put out the rubbish bins and the truck has just passed by.
The stuff of the daily life can erode the magical expression of love that we experienced last night if we let it. We live more in the ‘stuff’ of everyday life and less in the practice and expression of our love myths. We expect the love myths to maintain our mutual love in the recess of our minds!
In TPS programs I observe, as in my own life, that we lose sight of the love myth. We don’t share the love myth, we go through the motions, and deny our feelings, because we haven’t made the effort to express them. Why is that? I have come to believe that the love myth is :
Either completely false, and you have been living a lie, and/or can’t sustain it. The information you have gleaned during your time with the other person, and feelings you have are not honest. It’s what you want to believe. Or, you totally believe in your love myth, and nothing and nobody will destroy it. It makes you whole.
Have you shared your love myth story with your partner, lover etc.? Have you listened with love, empathy and compassion? Are they totally surprised when you tell your love myth, are they smiling, are they excited that you could love them so? Does your love myth make them feel like they are your king, and you are their queen, and that you live in a kingdom you both have created? Or, are they totally insecure in hearing it, and start to fall apart, because it puts pressure on them in ways you know nothing about? Perhaps, they have a mythical story going on in their own mind, about themselves that is not good, lacking in self-worth, and could never receive or give with such a love. They stay busy in the ‘stuff’ of the day and that is enough for them.
The receiving and giving of love, the expression and articulation of it in words and actions, in an honest and open way, without deception, develops self-worth and self-esteem in both people. It creates an intimacy that can be sustained and enjoyed. You create a shared mythical story that you both can live with and change over time. More times than not, I observe in a couple that after years of sharing a life together each person’s understanding of the other is totally different. There is little real communication and a complete lack of intimacy: they do not know each other. Why do we let this happen?
There are all kinds of love as I talked about in yesterday’s blog. Begin with yourself on this Valentine’s Day, as you look into your other’s eyes: ask “How do I make you feel?”; listen don’t interfere. Reverse the role and observe for your own love myth: ask yourself:
– is it true or fantasy?
– does it need re-writing?
– can you sustain it?
– is it right for you?
– where can this love take you?
And don’t forget to wear your smile, practice kindness without any expectation of return.
“My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.” -Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare.
“Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.” – Henry V, William Shakespeare
“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.” Terre des Hommes (Wind, Sand and Stars), Antoine de Saint-Expupery
“Do you love me because I’m beautiful, or am I am beautiful because you love me?” – Cinderella, Oscar Hammerstein, II
“The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” Bertrand Russell