A Few Words For Lonely Hearts on Valentine’s Day
What an amazing time we live in. When technology can connect us to anyone in the world, and we can strike up a friendship with someone who lives thousands of miles away, yet so many of us find it difficult to meet someone with whom we can simply be happy.
Last Thursday, it was Valentines Day.
On Valentines Day, the people who stand out are those who aren’t celebrating love—men and women who are either unattached and lonely or attached and miserable.
I am very grateful to have a wonderful man to share my life with, but I have spent my share of V-days without someone special in my life and I wrote this post on Valentine’s Day many many years ago on one such occasion, but it is no less relevant now than it was then.
Why do people seem to always want what’s on the other side of the fence? Single people want someone to love, people in relationships want to be single, and the “happy in-between” is a rarity.
Sure, the lush grass growing on the other side of the fence is looking greener than ever to a great many people these days, but why do so many feel they have been waiting for something their whole lives that is “just around the corner” but never seems to come?
And by the time we reach mid-life if we haven’t found “it” yet, then it is no longer ’just around the corner,’ but now on the other side of the fence; close enough to touch, yet seemingly unattainable.
Why do so many of us long to be someone else, somewhere else, doing something else?
Perhaps, you are thinking, “Oh it’s not that I want to be anyone but me, I just want to be a different me. A more courageous me. A healthier, lighter me. A happier me. A more successful me. A me that has a rewarding career and financial freedom, health and vitality, balance and peace of mind, a loving partner and a great relationship!”
The other day I happened upon an old 90s show called “Lois and Clark,” which depicted Superman’s relationship with his one and only love, Lois Lane. The show was made in a more innocent time, and for a more innocent crowd, but basic relationship challenges and needs haven’t changed all that much over the years.
People have differences that can make relationships seem more like a mountain to climb in order to hold on to love, rather than a paradise to be savored . . . but those who stand at the top of that mountain will tell you it’s worth the effort. They will also tell you it was more difficult than they ever imagined and they came close to quitting more than they care to admit.
We know what we want. We just don’t know if the mountain is too steep, too treacherous, too high.
We want what everyone wants but won’t admit. When it comes right down to it, we want what Superman and Lois Lane have (in Lois and Clark, at least)—an undying love spiced to perfection with passion, excitement, understanding, and acceptance. Lois and Clark had more than the average obstacles to surmount (being a cross-culture marriage—alien/human, not to mention superhero/regular person), but they made it to the top of that mountain and kept climbing.
So now you may be thinking, “Yeah, but how do real people with real lives and real problems do that?
Maybe there is a deeper reason our culture continues to revisit the beloved Superman myth in one incarnation after another, year after year. Perhaps it provides a clue.
Could it be that, intrinsically, we know Clark Kent is what all of us should aspire to be? No, not a superhero. I speak of his human qualities: kindness, honesty, sense of humor, inner strength and grace, understanding, health, wit and wisdom, dedication and a positive attitude. He is loving and loyal, intelligent, trusting and trustworthy. He believes in himself, has direction in life, purpose, and drive. And most of all, he lives his life in unconditional love. He accepts Lois for who she is in all her glorious stubbornness and wild idiosyncrasies.
So what’s wrong with wanting all that in a partner? I can hear my elderly Aunt Rosie say, “If you set your standards too high, sweetheart, you will be alone for the rest of your life.” She means well. But she’s wrong.
Superman and Lois Lane may be fictional characters in a fictional world, but . . . it’s not a fantasy world. It’s a world of embodied archetypes . . . something for us to strive for—a vision of perfection that exists to keep us from complacency. I believe these are aspects to be embraced in all of us, aspects of being human, which lay sleeping deep within us. It is our heritage. These attributes are the foundation of the human race. We have just forgotten. Only our dream-selves remember . . . so our imaginations create them in myth and fantasy and label them make-believe.
But when we read or hear or watch these “superheroes,” a part of us awakens and we sense instinctively that these are things we want to be. These are things we have been, are, and will be! It is not too much to ask for. It is natural.
Society has somehow become something entirely different; representing not what we are or could be, but the lowest common denominator. This has become our standard so much so that we laugh at those who want more. We laugh at those who have high standards for love, to keep from hating them when they get it, or hating ourselves when we don’t.
We, as a society, laugh at the light to keep from cursing the darkness. We fear those who believe “we are more than we seem” because if they are right, then we may be held accountable for our lack of such virtues as kindness, understanding, integrity, courage, vitality, and purpose. If our race believed that it was within our power to all be supermen and women, what would that make us? Lazy? Stupid? Neglectful? Afraid of ourselves? Blind? What reason would we have for remaining petty and small and scared? If it was truly within our grasp to change our race then what excuse have we?
It is safer to allow our superheroes to remain untouchable and let them only stir the slightest and sweetest remembrances in our hearts, while we harbor a secret desire to be like them and have those around us resemble them as well. Safer and easier. But is that really what we want?
The real answer to our search for love, of course, is that what we seek must come not from ’the other’ but from within ourselves . . . that we will not be truly happy in relationship until we are happy with who we are inside.
Don’t settle. Take the time to become the person you know you can be. When you focus on manifesting the best version of you, the truest you, the right relationship will come and it will reflect those positive qualities you, yourself have embraced.
A wise person once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” There could be no better advice for love!