The Dark Side of Valentine's Day
(it's not just about Love)
February, as we all know, has been officially dedicated and programmed as the month of love. Every year, as February 14 approaches, people gear up one way or another for Valentine’s Day. Many people experience great joy, reveling in the romantic, loving relationship they share with that Special Someone. It’s a wonderful day to celebrate love every year. Who could quibble with that?
Unfortunately, Valentine’s Day also can create stress, discord, pain, and despair. For those who do not have a wonderful, romantic, loving relationship on Valentine’s Day, it can invoke deep pain and self-doubt, as they relive past and present “failures” in love, re-experience deep grief and loss, or entertain deep-seated fears about being incapable or unworthy of attracting that perfect storybook romantic relationship that they KNOW is “the norm.” They can feel that they are isolated and alone, and that love has passed them by.
What they don’t realize is that many of the happy, loving couples they see also experience their own version of “the Dark Side” of Valentine’s Day. In addition to the pressure to create the perfect event to fulfill their partner’s unspoken needs, expectations, and yearnings, Valentine’s Day puts everyone’s relationship under the magnifying glass. Sometimes, one is forced to recognize that their relationship, and the ideal of love itself, has failed them. And if being alone, without a relationship, is difficult, it can be far worse to feel alone within one that didn’t live up to the fairy tale.
So… With Valentine’s Day safely in the rear-view mirror, let’s take a deeper look. I hope that everyone had a wonderful, validating experience! I applaud everyone who has truly created an ongoing supportive, fulfilling, loving relationship. However, if you were one of those who endured elements of the Dark Side of Valentine’s Day, please know that you are not alone, you are not unworthy of love, and you are not flawed or broken.
You have just experienced another triumph of advertising: a great build-up to a great let-down. Like many highly charged (and overly advertised) holidays, it seems that we are all emotionally manipulated and orchestrated into a roller-coaster ride of high expectations and (too often) disappointment, primarily for the purpose of fueling the economy and reinforcing a cultural ideal.
Since couples already celebrate their anniversaries, one has to wonder why we need another special day with mandated candy, flowers, and expensive dinners to celebrate them? Why not celebrate those who are single? Roommates? Widowed? Divorced? No, only those following the cultural mandate are celebrated.
The bottom line is that we have all been programmed since childhood to "follow the plan" and to expect the ideal and the often-unattainable. And most of us bought into it, internalizing without question the belief that the idealized romantic love relationship is the only road to happiness; that our Prince/Princess is just around the corner (if we are attractive/smart/pleasing enough); and that we will, like our storybook heroes, “live happily ever after.”
These and other myths and beliefs actually drive the cultural and economic bus. They keep us doing what we are "supposed" to do, and they support many institutions, organizations, and providers of goods and services, as we all grow up acting (sometimes desperately) on the belief that we must find our perfect mate, get the “right” job, buy a house, have and raise children (and become an active participant in the consumer and debt culture) in order to be happy.
What many may not realize, even through years of disappointment and despair, is that we have set ourselves up for failure, because we believe that the “programmed ideal” is actually achievable, that it is actually what each of us really wants, that everyone else already has it and, even worse, that if we don’t want it or achieve it, it’s our flaw, our failure. And most of us were primed at a very young age—and not only through the disappointment of not being that Special Someone’s Valentine in grade school—for a lifetime of self-perfecting and seeking.
This myth is a many-edged sword: How many people have disempowered themselves, waiting for their Prince/Princess to make their life meaningful, only to feel lost and afraid if that doesn’t happen according to some “schedule”? How many people believe they must make themselves “perfect” (however that is interpreted) in order to find love? And, once found, what must one do or sacrifice to continue pleasing the loved one in order to keep that love? This whole cultural imperative can keep us in perpetual dissatisfaction, looking for love in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.
And what of the many people who discover—and may be ashamed to admit—that they don’t really want that storybook romance, the house, and the kids? What of those people who feel an inner pull in some other direction? Our cultural mandate is so strongly imprinted, and from such an early age, that anyone who deviates from the “norm” of the programmed ideal is quickly brought into line or dismissed. Those who march to a different drummer are quite often shamed and bullied. At the very least, they are asked—and learn to ask themselves—“What’s wrong with you?” And in extreme cases, the fear of those who are different—who do not conform—prompts violence or legislation of intolerance and hate.
So much of what we do, as we go out in the world seeking love, respect, appreciation, success, fulfillment, and material wealth—or as we succumb to various compulsions and addictions when we don’t find them or the cost is too high—is driven by the need to fill the perceived “hole” inside of us that has been created by a deep sense of separation.
We are taught that only some “other” can fill that void, but is that really true? We spend our lives trying to reconnect with the real LOVE that we feel we are so deeply missing. This culture of storybook romance and many of our other cultural myths represent the triumph of conditional love, as we are taught, erroneously, that happiness and the love we seek are to be found outside of ourselves, through pleasing someone else so we can be loved.
As Robin Williams once said: “Wrong, but thanks for playing!” Remember that in all those fairy tales, we never hear about the ups and downs of everyday life for Prince/Princess Charming after the wedding! We are left completely unprepared for the reality of trying to keep that fantasy alive and find our "happily ever after."
But happiness is really an inside job! Although those who benefit economically from our constant seeking would like us to think otherwise, no one outside of ourselves and no material possessions can make us happy, make us feel loved, or make us feel fulfilled. Only we can do that, and we cannot do it for anyone else. It begins with learning who we are and what we really want, and honoring that, rather than chasing after something our culture says we should want.
Each person has a path to happiness, and each path is unique. For some, that path leads to a deeply spiritual long-term relationship; for others, it leads to something different, but equally fulfilling. Trying to follow someone else’s path—or one prescribed for us—never brings happiness. Each of us must find and follow our own.
We are all here on beautiful planet Earth to learn about what love really is. We are all great Spiritual Beings, each of us sparks of the Divine, pretending to be separate from each other and from God/Source/Love, and that idea of separation is The Great Illusion. Our culture has had it backwards for centuries, teaching us that we must seek love “out there,” when, in fact, Love is part of each and every one of us at all times. It is the creative force, the very stuff of life. It is the Force that holds all the atoms together and drives the Universe. We are always wrapped in love, and it has nothing to do with finding or pleasing someone else.
When we shift our focus from looking for love outside of ourselves and we start, instead, to look for that love and connection deep inside, we find our true path to happiness and wholeness. And that is when we truly find love and peace, rather than chasing something that is merely a culturally created ideal. That is when we realize that the “hole” we feel inside ourselves was created in our minds and never really existed. That is when we stop trying to fill that "hole" with people, possessions, and addictions, and take our power back.
We have always been connected to God/Source/Love, the greatest and truest Love there is, the total Loving Acceptance that makes conditional love pale in comparison. Tapping into that Love makes us realize that chasing after conditional love is a losing game, and we can stop playing.
“Finding love” must begin with loving ourselves. We have not been taught how to do that, but we are Beings of Love, after all, and we can surely find our way, once we know where to look. We can begin to love ourselves the way we love our smallest children, wholeheartedly and without conditions. We can respect ourselves, take care of ourselves, forgive ourselves, encourage ourselves, and believe and trust in ourselves. We can take our power back, take responsibility for ourselves, and set loving boundaries.
Once we fulfill our own needs and love ourselves without conditions, we are then able to relate to others from a place of wholeness, fulfillment, happiness, and peace, without needing them to be perfect and pleasing or to fulfill our needs, expectations and deep yearnings. We can love and accept more people and we can celebrate rather than fear our differences. And truly, loving ourselves and making ourselves feel loved, accepted, and fulfilled is the surest way to actually attract the kind of mature, loving relationships that we really want.
All of our relationships with others are a reflection of our relationship with ourselves. If we treat ourselves badly, others will, too. If we betray ourselves, we will be betrayed. If we don't love and accept ourselves just as we are, without judgment, we will surely find others who don't, either. And when we truly love ourselves, we are free to truly love and accept others, as they are.
It's always a good idea to examine our beliefs and traditions periodically to determine their deeper meanings and whether they are truly serving us or serving someone else.
Instead of just following along, what if we re-interpret the meaning of Valentine’s Day? What if we view the man and woman in those storybook couples as representing the Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine within each of us, finally—after a hero's journey of trials and tribulations—coming together in harmony and balance? What if we realized that the beautiful, fulfilling, loving relationship we are really yearning for, and celebrating on Valentine’s Day, is the tender, thoughtful, loving relationship we were meant to have with ourselves? What would our lives and our world look like if we collectively shifted this idea?
Instead of just reserving one day a year to celebrate a single ideal of lifestyle, love, and relationship—which, by its nature, excludes a lot of people—I propose that we choose to celebrate love every day: Love, respect, and acceptance of ourselves and of others, no matter what the relationship is or how it is defined. Real Love is not exclusive, and bringing more Love into the world begins in the heart, and with the actions, of each one of us!
All content © 2014, E.B. Dye
Feeling a Little Frustrated and Crazy Lately?
|Feeling exhausted, dizzy, head-achey, and nauseated? At the end of your rope? Ready to just throw in the towel? Do you feel a desperate need for something to CHANGE, knowing what you don't want, but not knowing what you do want?
You're not alone! Most of us are feeling pretty discombobulated lately. The pressure of "the New" crashing against "the Old" is increasing, and the worst place to be is right in the middle, clinging to the Old as the New pushes in on you.
Perhaps the PBS show, Downton Abbey, is so popular because it is a perfect reflection of the clash of cultures we are experiencing today. Look at the political climate and you see the same issues at play: at a time of great consolidation of wealth, the elite/monied/ aristocracy is desperately clinging to the past of privilege- for-the-few in the face of unstoppable change.
A single CEO salary or a single Wall Street bankster bonus is enough to give a family of four the high life (debt free) for a few years, yet somehow that doesn't seem to be enough for them! (Talk about trying to fill an unfillable hole!)
Greedy corporations are polluting our waters and destroying the land because they won't pay to maintain equipment or take appropriate precautions. And bankers callously ruin the world economy and walk away with billions. They don't seem to be concerned about consequences because—for them—there apparently aren't any! And far too many politicians focus only on what their wealthy contributors want, to the detriment of the rest of us.
They all know, and we all know, that things cannot continue this way, which is why they are making such a desperate power-and-money grab, and why the rest of us are feeling so frustrated and disgusted!
The planets are increasingly applying pressure, including the ongoing Uranus/Pluto square. In the next few days, Jupiter begins its square of Uranus and three planets change direction: Mercury goes direct (YAY!), and Mars and Saturn turn retrograde. In addition, the sun continues reversing its magnetic poles and spewing solar flares at us. The flares, alone, can cause fatigue, volatile emotions, dizziness, headaches, and nausea.
Everyone on the planet is feeling the effects of these planetary movements. At one end of the spectrum, we have public protests around the world—some violent and, fortunately, some not. At the other end of the spectrum, we have our own personal reactions—some strong and explosive, and some not.
We are all being forced to change in fundamental ways and at deep, unconscious levels. As we head into the second half of the Uranus/Pluto square period, more of the deep internal changes we have undergone will start to manifest in our external lives.
So hold on to your hats! These pressures aren't going away anytime soon. No matter what happens, don't take anything personally, be gentle with yourselves, simplify your lives as much as you can, get plenty of rest and drink a lot of water, and remember to BREATHE!
Always Remember to Ask for Help!
|Have you ever noticed that we often forget the most obvious (and important) things? You know, the things that we would never forget? Like when we put something in a "safe" place, where we'll always be able to find it.... and we can never remember where that was?! And yet, we can remember all the lyrics to all those Beatles songs!
I recently guest-hosted the Monday night NDE Chat show and heard myself reminding the audience of something that is important, but too easy to forget: We all have many, many angels and guides (whatever you choose to call them), who are just waiting for us to ask them for their love and assistance. But they won't interfere if we don't ask!
So, as things get crazier and crazier, you might want to make it a habit to ask your angels and guides for help. They can help you with just about anything: find things that you've misplaced, remind you of why you walked into that room, save you a parking place, make traffic flow better when you need it, and smooth the waters when you have to have a hard discussion with someone.
The key is to KNOW that they are there, just waiting to help... and then you have to REMEMBER TO ASK!
|Here's what you'll find on my website, www.LionMagic.com:
My metaphysical fantasy novel, The Search for the Crystal Key, is an adventure for all ages about believing in yourself and the power of love, based on information I received during my NDE.
Downloadable mp3s of my Journey Through the Tunnel presentation and guided meditation to go through the Tunnel of Light and feel the unconditional Love of Home.
The complete list of "What I Learned from Dying."
"The video of "Creating Heaven from Hell," my presentation at the September 2012 IANDS conference, with details about the Great Shift and the astrological influences, what is happening, and what we can do to navigate through these times of radical and dramatic change.
Videos and Recordings of radio interviews, with discussions about my NDE.
My articles in the December 2013 and 2014 “predictions” issues of The Sedona Journal of Emergence.
Information about my Intuitive Coaching, Reconnective Healing, and personal Reconnection services.
Back issues of Tunnel Vision.
|I am an Intuitive Coach, Public Speaker, Author, Reconnective Healing® practitioner, and a Practical Mystic. A Near-Death Experience (NDE) in 1985 expanded my psychic abilities and created a link with some very loving—and humorous— Guardians of humanity and the ancient wisdom, who gave me a huge amount of information about life and the evolution of mankind.
I bring this knowledge and connection to my clients and audiences, along with over 30 years’ accumulated wisdom and understanding of metaphysics, life on earth, and Who We Really Are.
I am the author of the metaphysical fantasy novel, The Search for the Crystal Key—an adventure about believing in yourself and the power of Love; and I am currently writing a new book, Creating Heaven on Earth... One Soul at a Time; A How-To Manual from the Perspective of a Near-Death Experience.
Find out more: LionMagic.com.