It is funny, no actually sad, that we only have one day a year to celebrate love – Valentines Day. We have numerous days for celebrating war-ing events and for those lost in war – 4th of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, D-Day etc. There have probably been more people lost to lack of love than have ever been lost in war – and the casualties of war have been noted by many – the numbers are staggering. But to those lost to love, or rather lack of it, are hardly ever thought of. 50% of the children who age out of foster care for example end up in prison (last stat I read), and the lives of those of us who have lived with a conditional love that demands we live up to other’s expectations to get their “love” is no more true love than a treat given to a dog for a reward in training.
Pat O’Brien’s now famous prayer for foster and adopted children “that you may love me the most when I deserve it the least, because that is when I need it the most” paves the way for a love like no other – unconditional – that love which we cannot earn, and that love which we cannot loose. Who among us loves their children like that, our precious spouses or for that matter even ourselves? We are all so often lost to love though in truth it may be closer to us than we are to ourselves.
So let’s use Valentine’s Day as a reminder, not to treasure love for a day, but to remind us that love is everyday – and we would do well to remember that – and hence celebrate it as one major day a year in case we have forgotten that it is that which makes our hearts beat and our breath flow in and out. As my friend Swami Beyondananda so famously said, “We are not here to earn God’s love, we’re here to spend it! So spend it wisely, spend it foolishly, but keep spending it and never stop.