But in the U.S. it is everywhere - movies, TV, internet, magazines, newspapers - and in schools across the land there are going to be little boys or little girls who, for one reason or another, don't get what they are expecting or hoping for on Feb. 14th and it will, I promise you, leave a lasting memory of what disappointment is all about.
I am personally against doing the card-exchange in schools. It is a chance for the bullies to work their particular kind of wretched behavior on those they have already targeted for abuse, and it is that kind of torture that young children do not need to experience.
Who really benefits from these so-called expressions of love? And why do the schools perpetuate something that does not really teach the students what love is?
John Gardner, Stanford '33 and MA '36 wrote an essay for the Stanford Alumni Magazine in March 1994 entitled 'The Road to Self-Renewal' and if you want to read it in its entirety, here is the link. He wrote, "We build our own prisons and serve as our own jail keepers, but I've concluded that our parents and the society at large have a hand in building our prisons."
His premise is that the roles that get created for us by parents, teachers, our peers and yes, even the bullies, can stick with us for a lifetime until or unless we as individuals take on the task of self-renewal, dealing with the ghosts of the past; failures, traumas, grievances and resentments. These injuries, imagined or real, take their toll both in limitations and frustrations sometimes causing illnesses that further limit us.
Gardner adds, "Life is an endless unfolding and, if we wish it to be, an endless process of self-discovery."
|Hearts by Danilo Rizzuti|
"Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone." But most especially I have 'sinned' against myself in not letting go of those past ghosts allowing me to be more loving, more giving, more of who I am supposed to be. Forgiveness is not really for the other(s), but for me, so that I am free.
The message of Jesus Christ was "Forgive them for they know not what they do." For me He is the icon of true and untrammeled Love and without pushing my beliefs on those who have their own, many of the religious sects have in their concepts an image or icon that represents the energy of Love.
I hope these words fall on fertile ground for you to renew your contract of living and loving and find your way to forgiveness of Self and that you can celebrate this month of the heart with great joy and love!