BY: AMITAV BANERJI
Around this time of year, you will see pink hearts and little bags filled with candy that you can send to your loved ones. However, that requires people to sit down and take a moment, which means they would have to take a moment from their busy lives, heavy workloads and demanding classes, only to find out that this moment seems to create questions. Naturally, the next question that comes along is, “Who do I love”? and “What does it really means when I say I love a person?” All these profound thoughts eventually make you realize that you still have a paper due at the end of the week, or a midterm coming up and by then the moment passes.
While it is important to answer these questions most people choose to forego this process due to the unpleasant feelings it stirs up. If they were to deal with these feelings, it would lead to changes in one’s behaviour creating an almost uncomfortable atmosphere of ambiguity. We choose to not go down this path due to the fear of it not ending and not knowing what results this path will yield.
I was first introduced to this sentiment when I came across a book written by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Dyer is an internationally renowned author who is known to have attained enlightenment. Dyer is well known for writing The power of Intention and Wishes Fulfilled, as well as having a large following worldwide. He believes that love is not something that is found between two people but an individual sentiment expressed for another being. He defines love “as the ability and willingness to allow those you care about to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.”
It is the understanding that the dichotomy between conditional love and unconditional love is false because if it’s conditional it is not love. This unconditional sentiment allows one to accept the people in one’s life for the changes in the loved one’s lives. This not only applies to one’s friends, family, and significant others but also to oneself. It allows one to accept oneself for the changes and growth in life which allows one to love oneself.
Understanding this sentiment allows for individuals to realize that obstacles in one’s life lead to growth and accepting this growth allows each of us to understand the meaning of acceptance. It is only when an individual accepts this growth, that they are able to respect themselves and in turn love and accept the people around them.
I’ve found that this definition presented by Dyer is a standard to hold myself and the relationships in my life, too. It has allowed me to realize that staying in relationships where the word love has been used but not fulfilled and acceptance is nowhere to be found doesn’t allow me to love myself. After a year of personally fulfilling this definition, I have found people who accept and respect the changes in my life as much as I do the same for them and while the transition of this change may lead you to say goodbye to long-standing relationships, you will get through it as long you love yourself.
This week, take a moment to accept the people in your life and yourself for the changes that will shape them and yourself. Take a moment to be grateful for this love and make it your valentine.