Love After Valentine’s Day



by Judith Sherven, Ph.D. and James Sniechowski, Ph.D.


New Days—February 16

“Each new day, I learn more about  love.”

To listen, heart and soul, is to love. To  listen to each new I day is to open to the divine. No day has ever been the  same, ever, throughout the history of the universe. Stand in awe. Wonder at the  beauty and the majesty that each day brings.

            No matter what happened yesterday between  you and your beloved, today is a new day. It is not a time to hold a grudge or  expect the miracle of yesterday’s passion to duplicate itself. It is a time unto  itself. What will you listen for! What will you open to! If you quiet the  rumblings in your mind, you can hear your soul calling to you, beckoning you to  open to new love, to open in a way that was unknown only yesterday—but today it  is a miracle.

            Each day has its own rhythm, its own  energy, its own message. Each day reaches down into your soul and asks that you  die to yesterday, to be reborn in new love.

Each day comes with its own  song, a song that no one has  ever seen or heard before. David Rothenberg


Punishment—February 17

“I relinquish any need to punish  anyone.”

Many times when rage hides in frozen  silence or erupts in searing blasts, the desire to punish rushes forward, any  times when rage hides in frozen silence or erupts seducing love with  righteousness. We’ve all felt it, that mind-bending certainty that our lover  deserves to be punished for the pain they just caused us. As if we’d never done  anything hurtful. As if they’d lived a life of ease and splendor, and now it’s  their turn to suffer.

            The desire to punish is pure animal  instinct. It is not an impulse born of consciousness and compassion. For if  compassion were in charge, we would never want our beloved to suffer, even if  they’d hurt us. We would know that they had already suffered mightily in this  life, and that their hurtful behavior was probably some remnant of that  suffering.

            We all need to learn to be more conscious,  more sensitive. None of us needs to be punished. Punishment only begets more  punitive behavior. Ask for change, suggest new behavior, teach by example. Never  punish love.

If we could read the secret history of  those We would like to punish, we would find in  each life Enough grief and suffering to make us  stop Wishing anything more on  them. Source Unknown


Social Change—February  18

“As I change, I help society  change.”

Personal relationships are the blueprint  for all other aspects of society. Primitive consciousness teaches us to put  ourselves before others—the survival of the fittest. It’s based on a concern  for lack, for mere survival. This kind of retrograde thinking still dominates  much of the world. Civil wars, starvation and international strife are the proof  of it.

            You are not powerless. How you relate to  those around you—all of those around you—influences every single person you  encounter—for good or for not. As you open your heart more fully to your lover,  take this new openness into your work world, into the stores where you shop and  certainly into your relationships with children and friends. Be a model for love and respect for others,  a model for fairness and equity.

            Be a model for love, that others can practice  what they see you doing and being. Your love has power—use it  lavishly.

Personal change is inseparable  from Social and political change. Intimate  relationships Cannot flourish under conditions  of Inequality and unfairness. Harriet Lerner


Necessary Friction—February  19

“I become my best through  adversity.”

You may know that building a muscle  requires stressing I that muscle through exercise, and the growth occurs in the  healing. Well, you are no different. In order to grow spiritually and  personally, to become stronger, you have to be stretched. In order to let your  brilliance shine, you have to be healed of old, disempowering wounds. The trials  of romantic love are the perfect workout lab for that transformational  process.

`           The friction of your differences is God’s  gift to your soul work. You don’t have to pay anyone to create it or supply  equipment for it. The friction comes with any intense romance, once the  honeymoon phase is over.

            Now, in order to learn to love through and  through, the natural conflicts of intimacy will expose your self-centered  impulses, defensive instincts and the desire to hurt back when you’ve been hurt.  Those arise from old wounds that need healing. As you go through this alchemical  process, the diamond that you are will be cut, honed, buffed and polished to its  brilliance.

The diamond cannot be polished without  friction Nor the man perfected without  trials. Chinese Proverb


Communication—February  20

“Respectful communication is always a  two-way street.”

“We need to talk” sounds like a doctor  getting ready to give you a diagnosis of cancer. Yet, this is one of the most  common introductions to intimate matrimonial conversation. Ominous. Unnerving.  Scary!

            The problem results from our fear of  confrontation and anxiety when asking for change. Love isn’t the guiding  experience. Fear rules. So these conversations are hateful, loveless panderings  to obligation rather than an intimate exchange and negotiation of  desires.

            Communication is always an exchange of  desires, even if all you desire is to be heard telling a story or a joke. So,  when you can embrace your lover’s desire—as just as legitimate and valuable as  your own—then any conversation is an opportunity to learn about one another and  learn from one another. Then, “Let’s make a couch date” sounds inviting, a  promise of more love to come. Even if you’re asked to change, it will be during  an open conversation filled with love and desire.

Communication is an exchange of  desires. Surrender your desires to one another and  you’ll have honest, intimate  communication. Melody Starr


Safety—February 21

“I live to love, not play it  safe.”

Many people hold back on love—to be  safe. As if they would die if they experienced the new intimacy. Yes, if their  old identity died, that would bring about new life. It would be unfamiliar.  Might be dangerous. They could get hurt.

            Here’s the deal. You either hide >from love  and play it safe, or you risk and open your heart to love. If you open yourself,  know you will definitely get hurt. But you won’t die and won t suffer for long,  unless you imagine it should be safe all the time. You simply can t love without  getting hurt.

             We were made to love, not to play it safe.  We were made to love, get hurt by the clash of differences, and learn to recover  through understanding and forgiveness. We become resilient lovers and learn to  love even more fiercely. We were not intended to hide under the covers of fear  and loneliness. Come out, play in the sea of love—and ride the  waves

A ship in harbor is safe, But that is not what ships are built  for. John Shedd


Risk—February 22

“I risk opening my  heart.”

 When you agree to play in the sea of love—wading out beyond the safety of what is familiar—you enter the magic of new  possibilities. All you have to do is risk yourself.

            Love is always the process of risking more  of yourself, making yourself more and more available so that someone can enjoy  you and love you. It’s possible they might not understand you or might even  leave you. That’s true. But why be with someone you can t trust to embrace you  for all that you are! Don’t sell yourself short.

             Today, take a risk. Reveal something that’s  important to you. Make a request for change in your relationship. Express a need  to be held, made love to, be appreciated for the work you do, or have someone  else take care of the kids. Pay a compliment that would reveal your attraction.  Take a risk and, see what happens.

Change and growth take place when  a Person has risked himself, and dares to  become involved In experimenting with his own  life. Herbert Otto


© 2000 Judith Sherven and James Sniechowski. Reprinted with  permission from Opening to Love 365 Days a year by Judith Sherven and James  Sniechowski. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a  retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written  permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW  15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442. $12.95 Available in local bookstores or call 800-441-5569 or click here.