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I got home late last night from a weekend away.   I found, interacting with two other couples, living under the same roof, I am creating more capacity to love and understand. Getting more in tune to my own motivations, I notice how others are struggling with similar things.  Allowing myself to be “in progress,” I become more tolerant.  With more space to love who I am, I gain more latitude for loving the quirks and foibles of others.

On the subject of love, for your pleasure and amusement, a day late and a few paragraphs short, here is Alan Scott speaking to you about Valentine’s Day:

Every year when Valentine’s Day is drawing its bow, I get as curious as the next follow about the origins of the day and I always make it a point to get the story. Then, in the next 364 days, I promptly forget it and it comes as news all over again. So I was glad to find a few lines on it in this morning’s editions.

First signs of the celebration, according to this account, were two thousand years ago when Roman oracles observed that birds started pitching woo on the fourteenth of February and they inaugurated the Feast of Lupercalia . . . dedicated to the Goddess of Love. They marked it with sort of a Sadie Hawkins Day stunt. The Roman maidens put their names in a large urn, set up in the public square and the bachelors had to draw a blind date. Whatever name came out of the urn . . . that was the gal the guy was stuck with.

Around 1400 in England, the sending of Valentines became popular. But in those days, they were always sent anonymously. The idea was for the suitor to do up a fancy card and leave it unsigned on the doorstep of his lady love . . . then bang on the door and run away. Bashful fellows, weren’t they?

It was about the year 1400, too, when popular belief had it that the first person you saw on St. Valentine’s morning was eventually to be your wife . . . or husband . . . as the case may be. If you think there’s anything in that . . . you’d better be careful whom you see first on the morning of February 14th.

I’ve been working on a piece for the forthcoming book, Raising Yourself, on the subject of Allowing.

It occurred to me that people seem to use the terms Allowing and Accepting interchangeably. Allowing is to admit, concede and permit what is. Accepting takes the next step to recognize the truth. In practice, I guess, they are pretty much the same. It’s that process of acknowledging what’s in front of you (or inside you.) Accepting life for what it is. Allowing Life. There’s something very sensible about that. And something insane, really, about seeing it any other way.

Part of allowing is Allowing Yourself. I had a bad cold this week. This was, at first, met with much resistance. I take good care of myself, I live a balanced life. What was I doing sick? I had things to do, I couldn’t afford to take time off. But then I started to see that I had been getting these messages for weeks. Several times, I planned to take time off for a restful Sunday, doing what Julia Cameron preaches, the “Artist’s Date” to play with an art project I’ve been wanting to tackle, and a date with a friend. But all were rescheduled, put off, blown off. As a freelance writer, I tend to work every day. Things happen, plans change. I never got to them.

So, after exposure to some cold germs, a few chills, on top of the strain of winter weather woes, incessant computer frustrations and the economic situation, my body forced me to take a few days off. “Sit down, shut up and rest!” my body called. Perhaps, if I had allowed myself those times off, I might well have prevented this.

Once I stopped haranguing myself for whatever I did wrong to get sick and all the work I wasn’t going to be able to do because of it, I had to admit that I was down for the count and that was that. From there, I could focus my attention on tending to my needs. I drank a lot of water, took Andrographis, Cold-Eze (and a few aspirin when I needed to sleep.) I had multiple cups of Echinecea tea, some Breathe Easy, Dandelion and Red Clover teas. Ate as well as I could. Did plenty of fruits and vegetables. Most of all, I allowed myself to get the rest I needed.

What an amazing gift you can give to your beloveds to accept and Allow Others to be just exactly who they are! How wonderful it feels to be with someone who isn’t expecting you to be any more than what you are, who isn’t judging you for anything. That’s a loving place for a parent to be, too. This acceptance does not mean succumbing. It means accepting the truth. Clearing the way to see what the other needs. Just think of the love that could be spread if you accepted everyone and everything in this way!

It’s not something you can get to overnight. It’s a moment to moment practice. But how many moments have you got to practice! On this Valentine’s Day, practice spreading love by allowing life to be what it is, allowing yourself to feel what you feel and do what you do, and allow others to be just exactly as they are.

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