As Valentine's Day approaches this week, it can be a good time to remind ourselves that the Love we seek in another person, is actually already present within us. While romantic erotic Love (called eros by the ancient Greeks) is a powerful and heady experience that we can share with another person, and upon which the celebration of Valentine's Day is based, it is actually pales in comparison to the greater depth of Divine Love (called Agape by the Greeks), which brings the satisfaction and joy that our hearts desire. Agape is experienced as unconditional Love towards ourselves and all Beings, and can only be found in the depth of our own hearts. It is the ability to 'let others be' as they are, without the need to 'fix' or change them in any way. This is the Love that a mother has towards her baby, or the Tao has towards all of us.
Most people however, will spend the whole of their lives looking for this vast All-Encompassing Love in a romantic relationship, thinking that there is one special person 'out there' who will complete them. If you have lived long enough, you eventually realize that this 'quest' to find the 'right one' is not only exhausting, it is ultimately fruitless and disillusioning. If we are fortunate, this frustration will lead us to a place in our lives where we actually turn within through meditation, and rediscover the Love that is already present in our own hearts. This doesn't mean that romantic, or erotic Love isn't a powerful force that can enhance, and bring joy and pleasure to our lives.
On the contrary, we may find someone who is also swimming in the inner-Love of Agape, and be able to share that powerful connection with them. The key is that both partners have realized that they are the source of Love, and that it cannot be gotten from each other, but can only be radiated like the sun to each other. In this Love is found the completion and connection that our hearts long for. As you celebrate 'Lovers Day' this year, take time to breathe Love into the space of your own precious heart, and radiate that Love into the field around you on your out-breath. Radiate it to your friends, your neighbors, co-workers and family alike, knowing that, though we may wear different disguises, deep inside we are all the same Love.