Surviving Valentine’s Day


It is true that not everyone wants or needs love, and connection, and a sensual sexual relationship.  But that’s the way to bet, and those who are genuinely disinterested have no emotional reaction to a claim that this is a near-universal desire.


For those who have the craving, but have yet to find a relationship, or have lost one due to breakup, divorce, or death, holidays can be hell.  And Valentine’s Day can be the absolute worst, triggering depression (“what’s wrong with me?”), cynicism (“it’s all about money!”), anger (“what’s wrong with THEM!”) and hopelessness (“things will never change.”)


The “Soulmate Process” addresses relationshps by suggesting that they are mirrors of our inner life, and that they are valuable arenas for growth. But they are NOT to be pursued directly–a healthy relationship is a byproduct of being a healthy human being fully engaged with life, filled with light and “energy” and simply following your path. Along that path, you will meet others traveling in the same direction at the same speed with the same values.   But the “a watched pot never boils” idea, the “money comes to those who don’t need it” notion, the “second attention” concept where an artist has to keep her eye on “the ball” of doing the work, without directly paying attention to the results 99% of the time, is critical here.  The Zen archery concept to pay attention to form, and mind, and emotions, and clarity, and let the result come as it will.  


This has to be applied to the heart as well. YOUR job, happily, is to be happy.   Relationships are not an end, THEY ARE A MEANS.  You want a relationship because you believe (and have experienced) that they bring joy.


If you have heard the Sufi philosophy that the beginning of evil is treating human beings as means rather than ends, on the other hand, you can see the problem.   To have a healthy relationship, you can’t be “trying” to find one.To receive from human beings, you must treat them like ends rather than means.  You must give to receive.  In “Soulmate” terms, you must BE the mirror of the person you desire…but you cannot “try” to do this “in order to find someone”.  That is watching the pot, trying to control the wind.


All you can do is be the best you you can be, be happy, healthy, and as dynamic and loving as you can be…and then nature takes its course.  Some thoughts to this end.


  1. Your first task is to be happy.   To feel love. And that means that you have to do this whether anyone else agrees with you, anyone else is there to support the feeling or not.   The sense that your happiness flows from others is poisonous in the extreme.   Take care of yourself!  Practice Heartbeat meditation to connect to love.   
  2. Use the Ancient Child to touch the most vulnerable and creative part of yourself, and commit to loving and protecting your essence. The critical thing about this is that once you have committed to taking care of yourself, and experience the vast ocean of love available to you, you will automatically begin to expand your realm. THE PROBLEM IS NOT SELFISHNESS.  THE PROBLEM IS A LIMITED DEFINITION OF “SELF.”  Manipulative people will try to shame you for putting yourself first–but grasp the dishonesty there: they have placed themselves first, and are trying to con you into doing otherwise.  Don’t fall for it.
  3. Be so busy “becoming” your best self that you don’t notice your results 99% of the time.    Be like a submarine, just poking your periscope up to check your bearings a couple of times a day to make course corrections.  Spend so much time in “flow” that you are aligned with your heart and head, just “being”.    
  4. Remember the “Secret Formula.”  Your GOAL is to be happy. Relationships and accomplishments and money are just means to this.   You must have FAITH that you can be happy, love yourself, and grow.  If you genuinely love yourself, and are growing, and are engaging with the world, you will meet others doing the same.  If you genuinely love yourself, you will find things to love in others who are at your level, moving at your speed. Thats the way the world works, and misery comes from NOT loving yourself, and hoping others won’t notice the crap you dislike about your own life and being.  Concentrate on healing this, not hoping others will settle for less than you’re willing to settle for.  You must take daily ACTION to be happy, and that means engaging with the “who am I?” question, aligning your behaviors to take you closer to your heart, one step at a time, each and every day.  And you must feel GRATITUDE for the love you already have within you, and what you have experienced in your life.
  5. EVERYONE HAS EXPERIENCED LOVE. If you think not, you are lying to yourself.  Unnurtured, human infants die.   Period. No argument, no exceptions.  You may have to “drill down” to a pre-verbal self to find these memories and emotions, but once you have, you can tap into them every day of your life.  That core, once exposed, can burn away the negative emotions, but you have to do the work every day to tap into it.  Once you have, it can power the actions that drive your healing/growing process.  And there is nothing more attractive than a person who is “becoming”, who loves herself.  Who respects herself enough to demand the best of herself…and the world.  Such a person can give freely, because she is noticing who gives in return, and surrounds herself with a tribe with the same values: people who enjoy giving.  And never lets anyone hurt her twice.
  6. Find a hundred different ways to make yourself smile.  Take yourself to the zoo. Write yourself a love letter.  Have a mix CD of favorite songs.   Take yourself shopping in the 99 cent store for toys…and then give them to the first children you pass.  Go see a silly movie.  KNOW HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY.   
  7. Five times a day, once every three hours, stop and take sixty seconds of deep belly breathing.   Connect with your “Ancient Child”–the child within, and the “Ancient” you will one day be. Haven’t you ever seen the sacred connection between grandparents and grandchildren?  It is simple love, absent the stress of the parent-child connection.   You can experience this for yourself in your morning meditation, and once achieved can trigger it five times a day to remind yourself you are loved, you are loving, you are joyous…that while you are no more than an ant, you are also no less than the stars.  Feel that connection between the child just starting the journey, and the Elder nearing completion.  Touch your heart, go deep.  
  8. Make a study of being happy, remembering that happiness is probably as close to a one-word “meaning of life” that can be spoken aloud.  All one then needs do is align happiness with your conscious values: giving, growing, loving, contribution, whatever.   Do them to be happy.   Give without expectation of receiving. Take your attention off your emotions by giving Valentines at a homeless shelter or a retirement home.  Adopt a pet. Remember the good times with a departed love.   Embrace the totality of your emotions, even the sadness, with love.
  9. Never, ever, ever forget that sadness and happiness flow in cycles.  On Valentine’s Day, commit to at least five moments of joy, faith, and gratitude.  Just five.   For sixty seconds each.   You will have planted seeds that will grow all year.
  10. Make someone smile. And take joy from it.  A stranger. A child.  A cat’s purr, the wag of a dog’s tail.   Find beauty in small things.  Remember happy times.  


Be kind to yourself.   Remember that you have been, are, and will always be loved.




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