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Balancing Love - A Valentine's Day Exercise.

Today there will be many kinds.  All sorts of hot dates.  Dinners out. Flowers given and received.  Chocolate.  God, I really do love the chocolate!  And likely, and hopefully, a great deal of sex for everyone.  It is heady stuff, all this love bombing going on today.  And honestly, kind of glad that I am sitting this year out.  Last year was a complete cluster fuck.


And so I think about that, too, today.  All the plans that will go badly.  All the gift miscues.  All the expectations that will get dashed on reality’s brutal shore.  All the people who are going through a divorce or break up today.  All the people who will learn, sometimes through craft and cunning, and others by unhappy circumstance, that the person they are married to or in love with, is actually someone else entirely.  Lovers will learn that their lover isn’t only theirs and it will be a crushing reality.


I guess I am thinking of the best sides of love and the worst sides because I am, at least for this year, in the middle.  I am not in love, hell I don’t even have any prospects of love this year...not a single one!  But I am not going to be where I was last year, loving someone who was wholly absent for the day, bought me three cards and then couldn’t be bothered to fill them out or actually give them to me (Side note - the only reason I know this is that when I asked him to leave - the first time - he took his stuff but left those three cards to show me that he bought them - just didn’t give them to me - really sweet, right?)


Last year this day was painful.  I was in love with someone who seemed dedicated to giving me the barest of minimums and then being upset that I was upset with that equation.  


For me, it was the last time (I fucking pray that it was) that I will find myself in a relationship with someone who meters out love and affection like it is something being rationed in a war.  Like coal or food.  Breaking off tiny morsels and doling them out, and in so doing, making them more precious feeling because of the scarcity of them.  That is definitely one way to love, to restrict the flow of love so that the recipient finds themselves forever grateful to get any love at all.


Sadly, I have cut that deal way too often in my life.  Somehow believing that I deserved this treatment because it was what I was receiving.  Never seeing that I was not really the problem.  It was, in fact, this other person thinking this is the way to love and me not feeling like I deserved any better from those who professed to love me.


Well last year was a call to arms.  And I left that relationship and have managed to stay away from any others that smacked of this similar pall.  And, I think, at least I will claim today, I do not want love that feels like that, is delivered like that.  It is absolutely something I have decided I can live without.


When I was 22, my boyfriend of three years proposed.  He way overdid the whole Valentine’s Day thing.  He bought me like three dozen roses, five boxes of chocolate, cards, gifts and a ring.  He got down on one knee at the edge of the bay and asked me to marry him.  It was an amazing night and I am forever grateful to that man.  He was the first that I ever let in far enough to do something like that.  Of course, I didn’t appreciate him because I was too fucked up back then.  But I see it and feel it now.  He loved me truly, deeply and quite madly.  And all the hullabaloo was evincing that which roiled beneath his surface:  a love for a woman that really knew no bounds.


As I have stated many times before, I smashed that love to smithereens.  I broke his heart because I was just that fucked up.  The first man to really love me, show up for me and want to spend the rest of his life with me, and I devastated him.  I was a horrible person.  And I can give you lots of reasons why I was the way I was, but today, I will just own my own horribleness and stop there.  It really does help me put into perspective my last year’s Valentine’s Day debacle.  Sometimes, we attempt to do our best but it results in only the worst coming out.  Yeah, me too buddy, me too.


Tonight I will co-host a speed dating event for singles 40-60.  It is the first one I have ever participated in.  And it has been fun planning it with my girlfriend.  Tonight, we will host an event that celebrates loving connection for over 40 people who, on this most hallowed and hated day, find themselves single.


While I am not participating in the event personally, I am very happy to be love adjacent and hope that everyone has fun, meets someone who lights them up, or at least peeks their interest.  It could be love, it could be like, or it could just be friends.  Or hot sex, never, ever rule out hot sex! However, it goes, hopefully smoothly, each of us will leave having met people we have never met before.  And who knows, perhaps love will result for one lucky couple.


I feel like I am at the point in my life (the movie version - come on I am not the only one who sees her life this way...) where I feel like I can really go either direction.  I can walk back into the dating fray or I can continue to sit sidelined.  And honestly,  I think I am good right here where either reality is possible.  I may not be out on either fringe, but I do feel balanced and safe where I am right now.


And perhaps for the first time on this dreadful holiday, I feel good about who I am, where I am and how I am showing up.  I am happy to be in loving service tonight to help my friends and complete strangers give love another go.  That makes me happy, feel content and provides me a sense of balance and joy that I did not have last year when I was busy trying to love someone other than myself.


And this year, I will take it.  I am not bitter.  I am not ready to dive into the fray.  But I am content and happy to be love adjacent this Valentine’s Day.  To show up and be of service to others, just like me, who long for just one person who gets them and loves them regardless.  I do not know if that one, big, true, right love exists for me, but I know that if I keep showing up, I just might get to witness and have a hand in someone else finding it.  And today, that is where I have landed, after my rocky landing on the reality of love gone wrong, this year, I am contented in my solitary status because I know, and feel, and believe that I am truly blessed to have all the love in my life I do.


While also believing, refusing to stop believing, that love is like gravity.  It applies to everyone equally.  No exceptions. No matter how much we might have fucked this up in the past.  Each one of us is still worthy of finding our person, even if after all the struggle, strife and searching results in us finding that the best and hardest won love in this life, is the love that we come to find for ourselves...


Again.


Still.


Happy Valentine's Day to All.



Hey if you are in the Santa Barbara area, come join us tonight at Old Town Coffee in Goleta, 6 pm - Come get your love on!

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