On such a day, I am compelled to write. But of what?
I could write about
- the commercialism of this day known as Valentine’s Day
- love renewed because of the call of Valentine’s Day
- affection expressed when compelled by Valentine’s Day
- faith in another inspired by Valentine’s Day
- romanticism, cynic or believer, occasioned by Valentine’s Day
- the many creative products from the idea of love which inspires Valentine’s Day
- going through the day unaffected by Valentine’s Day
- those who are hurt or disappointed on this day and why
- those who find meaning on this symbolic day.
Love exists in a myriad of relationships, not just those of a romantic nature which seems to be the focus of Valentine’s Day.
So for today, an exploration of love in relationships through meaningful quotes. Perhaps you will find one which resonates within.
Motherhood: All love begins and ends there. ~ Robert Browning
Do I want to be a hero to my son? No. I would like to be a very real human being. That’s hard enough. ~ Robert Downey, Jr.
The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy. ~ Sam Levenson
We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone. ~Orson Welles
The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. ~ Benjamin Disraeli
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. ~ Robert A. Heinlein
Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another. ~ Thomas Merton
To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. ~ Alan Watts
None of these is possible, unless we are in a love relationship with ourselves, as it is a necessary foundation upon which other relationships flourish.
Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers.
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.
~ Maria Quintana
Whether Valentine’s Day is significant to you or just another day, it means something.
May you have courage to romance yourself, love all that you are.
© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.
I often do things alone. I tell everyone who asked ‘why’ that I love my own company, and I do. I enjoy the freedom of ‘not minding’ and ‘not caring’ of another. I enjoy the opportunity for introspection and contemplation, as if I don’t do it enough.
Why? These statements are simple enough, yet behind each of these simple statements is a world of meaning.
Solitude is companionable. I have done this since I was a teenager. A (loosely) self-labelled introvert, I never did have a crowd of friends, rather a few good friends. And like me, they are introverts and a serious bunch. We spoke of ‘things’, discussed ‘stuff’ and we had fun. Then we retreat to our own worlds for respite. I remember being entirely happy with this situation, despite others beyond my world looking at me with pity in their eyes because I was a “loner” and “friendless”. They would not comprehend why nor understand me.
“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, ‘Walden’
Solitude is freedom. There is a certain independence and freedom being in my own company. The connection to my inner self, if you would call it that, or to my thoughts, feelings, senses… is heightened when I am alone. Perhaps I am conditioned to be more social that I am – that in the company of others, my attention is to them and about them; and for a long time, this attention was also worrying about how they were and how they perceived me. With a degree of hard-fought self-awareness and inevitable age and maturity, I am comfortable in my own skin now.
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Solitude is nourishing. Cultural, gender and familial norms dictated my presence – to be attentive to others and to serve. I do care, I do serve, I do for others and only to the extent I can and in the circumstance within my control. Beyond this I am merely fretting and worrying, over-managing and to be frank, somewhat of a pain to be around. It also taxed my sense of self, of not giving myself permission to do what I desired and what I would. I have learnt that being selfish is not a bad thing. All things in moderation and to each their own.
“I had told people of my intention to be alone for a time. At once I realized they looked upon this declaration as a rejection of them and their company. I felt apologetic, even ashamed, that I would have wanted such a curious thing as solitude, and then sorry that I had made a point of announcing my desire for it. … the decision to be alone for any length of time is dangerous, threatening, a sign of rejection. … Having never felt the need to be alone themselves, having always lived happily in relationships, they looked upon my need as eccentric, even somewhat mad. But more than that, they saw it as fraudulent, an excuse to be rid of them rather than a desperate need to explore myself.” ~ Doris Grumbach, ‘Fifty Days of Solitude’
Solitude is growth. Those who know me will attest that I think a lot, some may even claim that I over-think. Being a lawyer and educator, academic and intellectual pursuits are part and parcel of my life, one that I am comfortably familiar and cherish. All this ‘head-y’ stuff can sometimes be overwhelming, or strangely addictive. Either way, solitude is my step away from the mentalising and cognizing, away from boundaried explorations to experiencing varied possibilities, where I can broaden my sphere of seeing, and to draw a thread through the many systems and structures in my world. Most importantly, it allows me to just be. And it is only in these emotional and spiritual states that I am once again reconnected to the inner me which gets forgotten or ignored.
We have the choice of two identities: the external mask which seems to be real…and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing, but who can give himself eternally to the truth in whom he subsists. ~ Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
I am practicing this often – to be at peace with my desire for solitude, no matter the consternation of the outside world. The “motivation” to be alone are many – because one has to, because one must, because one has something to prove, because one was forced to by circumstances…
Regardless of the cause, should you ever find yourself alone, revel in it. Take a deep breath, listen to the voice within, observe your self in this place, and allow yourself the joy (however tiny or great) of being your own companion for a while. There is always time to make friends with your self.
“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Self-Reliance’
© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.
“Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person’s sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions.
Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they’re taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment – just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! – an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience – or to fake – a sense of self-esteem … Love is our response to our highest values – and can be nothing else.”
― Ayn Rand,writer & philosopher (1905 – 1982)
Is sex a reflection of our convictions?
I believe one’s perception of what sex is or can be, is indeed a reflection of our deepest values and convictions. One cannot approach sex in a manner which one does not believe in, at least not without it causing psychic injury. Be authentic.
Is sex inevitably a selfish act?
Philosophically, yes. if one doesn’t enjoy oneself then sex has not fulfilled (one of) its purpose. Thus, the complete experience of sex necessitates one to do what one enjoys… which in essence is selfish. Even the proclamation of one’s enjoyment is in giving to the other leads to a self-fulfillment that is exquisitely selfish.
And is love a response to our values?
A resounding yes, one can only love – express love and receive love – in the manner which accords with one’s values. If one’s value is of hard work and effort, then more likely than not, her love is shown by doing and service – that is how love will be shown and received. And no, it does not mean one can’t change or be versatile as one becomes more self aware. That’s my take anyway 🙂
So, do you agree?
© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?
This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.
~ Thomas Merton
© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.