The Secret Ingredient
“Through my research, I found that vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It's the magic sauce.”
So, it's Valentine's Day. All you who love, and even those who deeply like, one another will be celebrating today. Just because I'm a nerd, who likes to do research, here's the back-story. Valentine's day has its roots in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility rite celebrated on February 15th. In the 5th century (496 CE), Pope Gelasius recast it to be a Christian feast day for St. Valentine, and moved it up by one day. Today's version has vestiges of both. In America, it's usually a time for spending large sums of money to wine and dine and gift one's lover/husband/wife. In fact, the Huffington Post estimate for 2013's Valentine's spending was 18.6 billion, with card, flower, food and jewelry companies raking in most of it. Last year, 2016, it was 19.7 billion. The price of fertility has gone up, y'all!
We do need to celebrate our relationships, no doubt about it, but it may be that throwing large sums of money at it is not the best way. The secret ingredient that actually creates intimacy, is vulnerability. The definition of vulnerability is, “capable of, or susceptible to, being wounded or hurt.” It comes from exposing one's true self to another. Here's the fact: we all hold back parts of ourselves in relationships, either because we want to please our lover, or we want to appear confident and invulnerable. In other words, we want to show only the “best” parts of us to our significant other, so they will continue to hold us in a rarefied light. It's human. But it keeps a barrier in place that deflects genuine intimacy.
Today, on St. Valentine's feast day, let your guard down and let your truth show. Give the one you love a glimpse of you they haven't seen before. Be vulnerable, and therefore, knowable and lovable.
In the Spirit,