Traditionally, we associate the date February 14th with romantic love. But, have we really
analyzed what true love means, be it romantic or any other kind? Or have we created models for ourselves of what love should be, based on mass media, marketing campaigns, and dysfunctional relations around us?
Much is said about unconditional love, pure love, the love of a lifetime. But if we all have these concepts so clear in our minds, why do we constantly fail at the search for love, why do we trip over, get hurt, and even live with a broken heart, or simply disillusioned of our relationships?
Analyze this: do you love yourself? Do you accept yourself as you really are, with your weaknesses and your strengths? If your answer is ambiguous, or if it is clearly a “no”, or even a “yes” with an implied “but”, then you have identified the key piece of your puzzle. Love, in all of its manifestations, begins with self-love. Our happiness cannot be based on someone else, we can share our happiness with someone else once we learn to see it and manifest it inside ourselves. Placing in the hands of your partner (or parents, children, friends, etc.) the responsibility of making you happy, is not only a devastating weight upon them, it is a task that doesn’t correspond to them. Each of us is responsible of our own happiness, and therefore, each of us is responsible of loving ourselves before anything else.
But, how do we come to achieve the realization of that self-love? There are as many paths as there are people in the world. Because this search is a personal one, independent and internal. It is a journey we undertake through the deepest paths of our soul, in which we must face our own fears, and discover by our own means, the divinity within ourselves. To the extent we understand we are one with the Supreme Being, it becomes impossible not to love ourselves. And when we understand that we are all individual manifestations of that Supreme Being, likewise it becomes impossible not to love the rest of humanity. In this realization resides the door to unconditional love.
This said, I recommend two books that touch this theme from two very different perspectives. I confess I wrote one of them. But let’s talk first about “Letters of a Writer” (Letras de un Escritor), by my great friend Antonio L. Rivera-Rivera (https://twitter.com/antoniolrivera2). Certainly, the process of writing a book may carry with it the act of undressing one’s heart. This is the case of “Letters of a Writer” (https://www.facebook.com/letrasdeunescritor1/). Those who have invested their lives in the search for love, and its meanings, will identify themselves with this work. This introspection of the meaning of love in three times, demonstrates the author’s gradual process of self-discovery, through his interaction with the different manifestations of what we consider “love” in the different stages of our spiritual development. He opens his heart and allows us to explore it at will, and without realizing it, he guides us to explore ours as well. It is an invitation to reflection, and a practical guide for those who appreciate the value of making silence and daring to listen to the language of their intuition.
On the other hand, my first novel, “El Experimento Chicago” (The Chicago Experiment) (https://www.elexperimentochicago.com), challenges the apparent impossibility of finding unconditional love in the most compromising circumstances of the human being. Through the creation of a tridimensional world that comes to life in the mind of the reader, the story presents a couple of kindred spirits that face a morally questionable situation together, and end up undertaking a journey through the most intimate spots of their souls, which forces them to face their preconceived notions about love. A piece of erotic nature, which at the same time explores sexuality beyond the mere physical act, going from carnal to sublime, from human to sacred, and from the external expression of love, to the internal acknowledgment of our divinity.
In this celebration of Saint Valentine’s, I invite you to look at your reflection in the mirror of your own soul, and to confess your unconditional love to yourself. It is an exercise that will forever change your perspective of love and will open the doors to the incredible power of the most sublime feeling in the universe.
PS. Both books are available at Amazon.com in Spanish, both in paperback format and in digital format. The English versions for both books will be available soon.