This year St Valentine’s Day is being celebrated exactly two days after Carnival – this made me think… Are we leaving our masks on when we say we love each other? Are we just fooling about when we talk about love? Have we truly forgotten the meaning of love altogether and consider it as a synonym of sex?
Let me start with issues which I consider to be basic. Human beings are social beings, we live through relationships, we choose to relate with others and some of us choose to share their inmost self with a particular person who is set apart from the others. Therefore, even in today’s individualistic world I can still express that I need to share my life with others. Sharing my life demands that I am stripped of all my pride, my pretence my false identity and come to terms with who I really am. Accepting oneself as I am is the first step to loving someone else.
Through sharing the accepted genuine self, persons get to know one another and friendship results from this mutual gift of self to one another – a friendship that is beyond the utilitarian aspect, but is willing to know the other person for who s/he is. Michael Lawler starts to mention the word ‘love’ when a person finds a friend whom s/he considers as ‘another self’.
This does not mean that we become copies of each other; on the contrary we remain as two distinctive persons accompanying each other on a journey and forming a communion – a ‘we’. Through everyday situations the couple gets to know each other better and help each other to uncover the true self. It is only in being open to each other’s challenges, while adapting to this new knowledge of the self and the other, that one can live a soul-mate relationship which brings the best out of each person forming the couple. Thus, the relationship although permanent is never static, since it evolves out of the new knowledge of the self and the other.
A soul-mate relationship needs to be sustained and cared for, not only with words, but with a true expression of the self which is unique, mutual, free and fruitful. The couple who share everything together should help each other to understand the language of love also through their body which has its own language. Through their sexual union the couple may find the place of relaxation and restoration of their relationship in a bond of trust and pleasure. Thus, the couple becomes a total gift to each other, especially if each individual wants to outdo the other in the way to love.
This is surely a breathing place in a life where we feel that we are expected to be the best; a life which teaches us that sex is using each other as objects for personal satisfaction; a life that makes it difficult for us to trust and to show our true nature; a generation that wants everything to be perfect while we are still “works-in-progress”. Therefore, let us all abandon our Carnival masks!