After Valentine’s Day
A WEEK’S WORTH OF IDEAS
by Judith Sherven, Ph.D. and James Sniechowski, Ph.D.
New Days—February 16
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
“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
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
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
“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
“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
“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.
and growth take place when a
Person has risked himself, and dares
to become involved In experimenting with his own life.
© 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.