Monday, February 11, 2013

The State of Valentine's Day Today

Valentine's day for many may feel like a heavy cross to carry alone. It may feel like a failure of sorts for many who are not in happy, intimate partnerships at the dawning of this holiday. Never mind, no need to fret, the choice is yours on how you will feel on this dreaded or anticipated day. I choose to dump this metaphorical cross into the heap of imposed-upon myths and create a sweeter reality. I've morphed into a Dharma Bum, channeling Jack Kerouac, placing myself inside a selectively celibate, monastically solitary state on Desolation peak.

Be it love of self, love of another, or of African violets, the point on this Valentine's day should be to be love and not beat yourself up because you don't fit into the Hollywood version of it. Just switch off the circuit breaker labeled "poor me" and appreciate that you can still love anything at all and that your heart can still feel the strongest, most positive of human emotions.

One of my modern-day guru's recently advised, "go where you feel safe, wherever that is", right now and find a quiet time to meditate, even if it's just for 3 minutes a day. I've chosen to take a month away from the world, trading one hedonistic beach paradise of South Beach, Miami for another more spiritually connected beach getaway in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This "safe place" in this mid-point of life, is one of solitude, away from all the noise, it's one of self-enrichment, reading the books saved for months to read later, a place free of susceptibility to other's karmic plays upon my life.

My sense of well-being free from the intricate, complicated, messy web of someone else's confusions. I am not jaded, I just no longer want to blindly jump in, immersing myself in the waters unless it's a crystal clear lake and can see the bottom. Instead of complicated and eccentric; simplicity and less insanity is now hot. I choose to live as Thoreau did upon Walden, reinforcing my self-reliance, no longer feeling a pang in my heart as I watch friends walk down the aisle to their gleaming brides or grooms. I prefer walking myself from one side of the gym to another, doing squats in kickboxing class, tightening my glutes in defiance of gravity and nature's quest to drop my ass towards the floor.

We've all heard the saying ad nauseaum, "you can't love yourself until you love yourself" and it may seem like I'm reiterating the obvious, beating a dead horse or repeating a cliché' but very few people really understand what that age-old quote truly means. I am not undermining the value of love for others, am only trying to broaden it's definition. We have forgotten so many other "loves" in this obsessive quest of finding a husband or wife. What about the love for your fellow man or the love for the Earth's fast depleting soil, water and land, or animals that are being abused and have no voice which to speak out with? What about love for that homeless guy that asks you for spare change on your way to work every day? They also have the potential of making us feel "complete".

I am rebelling against this whole, you are incomplete unless you find your "other half"; a false reality forced upon us, programmed into our psyche by every Hollywood or Disney film ever made. The myth that we are incomplete unless we have found our "soul mates". It's a concept that once fulfilled, closes us off from the rest of the world because we are selfishly, supposedly, "completed". The "soul mate" concept is a trap door of Mordor for once believed, it makes it almost impossible for the other half of the soul mate to let go when it becomes toxic. We are taught that once you find that soul mate you are destined to be with them, and you should fight to keep them in your life no matter how painful it becomes, because that connection is as rare as a black diamond. That connection is rare but it comes in many forms we fail to recognize. Some soul mates are meant for a moment, to spark something in us at that moment in time and set us on the right path, some are for a season and still fewer are for a lifetime but definitely not all "soul mates" are for a lifetime-long bond. It's time for a redefinition of "soul mate". A soul mate doesn't have to be a sexual partner, it could be a roommate that fulfills you completely, a best friend, a wise grandmother, heck, it could even be the favorite horse you ride on sundays. There can be many within a lifetime at different periods but once you do find one it doesnt have to be a 'till death do us part tragedy. 

Still, some of us aren't meant to have a "soul mate" and are our own best soul mates. After all, who was Buddha's soul mate or the Dalai Lama's? While I understand that Barack would be nowhere without Michelle and Bill would never have been as great without his Hillary, until that person comes about, I have no choice but to be my own support system, my own rock. 

The other choice is to feel self-defeated every Valentine's day, every friggin' year that passes that my cursed "soul mate" does not materialize. I refuse that option. 

You don't have a Valentine on Valentines day? Some people don't have a Mother on Mothers day or a Father on Fathers day so shut the f*&k up!
My father passed away years ago, so I don't have a father on Father's day and I'm sure there are tons of good people that don't have a mother to celebrate on Mother's day. These are the days to not focus on the negative and go against the American way of focusing on what we don't have or need. Instead, these are the days to focus on the father, mother or lover we did have and remember them in the fondest of ways, reminiscing on the good moments however small or few they were. These are the days to get over feeling sorry for ourselves and reminisce on those "moments of love" that we have had in our lives, however brief, even if they were just a kiss on a dance floor or a weekend in Mykonos. The point is love for another doesn't necessarily have to be forever and being single is much better than being lied to, cheated on and disrespected, suffering fools just so you can say you have a partner.

A recent psychology study suggested that when you're single, all you see are happy couples - When you're committed, you see happy singles. Why not learn to deal with what we have, why is the grass always greener on the other side?

In this country where over 50% of marriages end in divorces I believe the paradigm is shifting towards more people being taking their time to be fulfilled by being alone or to coin a Mama Oprah phrase, "I am with my-self".

More and more citizens of this Matrix are finding the value of self-power. Vipassana meditative retreats once obscure, are gaining mass popularity. Where participants choose to segregate themselves from reality for 10 full days of solitary confinement amongst others who accept to not speak a word during the term, meditating daily and bringing absolutely nothing to read, no technology to plug into, essentially no distractions from the "self". It teaches it's young Jedi's to reconnect to their "inner gurus", to the answers that we all have within us but are too busy and too noisy to ever stop and listen to them in our ever-frenetic lives. 

I repeat Maroon 5's song on repeat in my head- "all these fairy tales are full of shit..if I hear one more love song I'll be sick" but at the same time I still believe in the universal truth of love's power to expand and transform but it is a sacred place to love another equal to the amount you love yourself or at least it should be. It's a bond that requires honesty with oneself and a responsibility to keep it as true and real as possible through communication.

If happy ever after does will be in the fertile valleys just beyond self-fulfillment mountain. True love with another should be a bonus, not what completes us. Sure, its nicer and easier to have someone next to you to lean on, making end's meet but it should be for the right reasons and therein lies the problem, most people jump into love for all the wrong ones from safety blanket to punching bag to sugar daddy to plain old daddy-I-never-had and the most popular of all, to just-get-me-the-F-out'a-my-parent's-house.

Not all that love are blind but too many fake it 'till they make it. 

The "bonus" should be if we find someone that suits us along the way for even a brief period…it's enough. The concept that a relationship doesn't last forever is considered a "failure" is inherently untrue. For as in any "failure" there are pearls of wisdom gained. They are not failures at all, they enhance our understanding of our strengths and weaknesses to a greater and higher degree. The concept that every failed relationship is training for the "right one" still holds true here, however the "right one" might just be the healthy relationship with ourselves.

Before you knee-jerk judge and say to yourself he's just bitter or there must be something wrong with him as I've done to others like me in the past, try to believe it is possible to be fulfilled alone. It's time we neutralize this stigma against the selectively single and stop giving them the "aww" look.

Yes I get lonely, yes I get weak but I fight it so I can keep moving in the right direction. My fear of being derailed from my path is greater than any fear of being alone that may bubble up. I truly believe we are not alone, we are never alone, we just believe we are which makes us so susceptible to bad relationships to stave off loneliness from creeping in and taking us over. If only we had special x-ray goggles to see that we are surrounded by loved ones that have passed on. There is "stuff" between our worlds. Widows and widowers know this secret of all secrets. Whenever they are down, they will freely tell you they think of their passed love ones and imagine them there in an instant find comfort and counsel.

Do I want another shot at love? Who doesn't? When it does come, it will be an organic process. If he doesn't, then it is what it is. I won't settle for any more "Mr. Right Now's". If and when that happens, it will be a slow-drip get to know them patiently, not a free-fall.

So all you hermits or assexuals out there, come out of hiding, come out, be proud and extoll the virtues of not being bound by "the system". Tell others how good it feels to love yourself without need of approval from anyone. Cast away the stereotypically negative image of a dirty-smelly, bearded hermit alone on an island. Hermits can be hot. Hermits smell just fine and they can be unbroken and happy.

Guess who's not having a Valentine's this year?

Me...and I'm perfectly fine with that.


Who am I? said...

As always, you don't scratch the surface of an issue - you jump into a Caterpillar and dig its mechanical claws to get to the heart of a topic and unearth a gem.

Who am I? said...

such as a black diamond