Friday, February 14, 2014

Hearts on fire: what is the big deal?

"It's just sex -- what is the big deal?"

Ever heard that line before? I have, plenty of times. And uttered with unmistakable exasperation. Which may as well have had the person say it straight instead of posing a question. Because what was probably on her mind was "It's just sex -- it's no big deal."

Thing is, regarding sex as "no big deal" often means not understanding sex beyond its being a biological function. Two people do it, do their best to enjoy it, and there you go. Love can be part of the equation, but not necessarily. They may be a couple, they may have met for the first time only hours before. Money may
have been part of the exchange. A dare may have been part of the deal. Each of them may be bound by a matrimonial vow, but not to one another. She could be totally into him and hopes to reel him in permanently, while he could be counting her as the "Flavor of the Month," one of many conquests. But one thing about us human beings is that none of us (man or woman) relish being treated like ice cream -- source of delight and center of attention for the time being, only to be set aside and eventually forgotten when the thrill wears off and the need for a  more exciting flavor sets in.

If you find that you do regard sex as no big deal, it's still possible you understand that sex is meant to be more than the physical and emotional (some will add spiritual) highs that it can lead to and which brilliant scripts and brilliant lighting and brilliant music (plus a stellar cast) can make it out to be. Sometime ago you may even have understood that sex is something special and beautiful but then somewhere along the way, you experienced some things that changed all that. It could be anything, from porn and your "wise" friends' pronouncements about "exciting hook-ups," to your parents' breakup and one guy's undivided attention that he quickly turned elsewhere after you gave him all of yours (and much, much more). It could be anything. But, see, you don't have a monopoly on this downward change in perspective about love and relationships due to your surroundings or your experiences. And more importantly, you're not the only one who – maybe deep down inside – dreams of something better. And most importantly, there is reason to hope for and work for something better.

So then why is sex a big deal? Well, because love is a big deal. And who have been created to love? It's certainly not those cute dogs, lovable though they are. It's (surprise, surprise) we -- you and me and every other person on the planet. We have been created out of love, to love, and we have an entire lifetime to do this. And sex is merely an extension of how love -- complete, self-giving love --  is manifested within the proper parameters. Lest I end up making sex seem like the end-all and be-all of life (which it is not, but it is the subject of this post, after all), let me then emphasize a vital point about it that anyone can easily overlook at one time or another, if not occasionally reminded: everything good in this world is a gift, and that includes sex. Thing is, when we discard the notion of something as a gift, we tend to be careless. Pretty soon we adopt an attitude that has us thinking we deserve this and that and so many other things.

Picture this: when something has been given as a gift, it ought to be appreciated and taken care of. When you give a good friend  a present, do you rejoice at seeing it tossed aside? When it's something precious, would handling it carelessly be the right thing to do? In the same way, love, sex, relationships, family, your significant other and all these in your life that money cannot buy are gifts, and keeping that in mind will help you remember that they are a big deal -- in varying degrees.

But here's something else: think of yourself as a gift and you'll realize that you are important, that you are a big deal. It's not some feel-good concept or something I'm saying just to boost your self-confidence (though the latter may end up being a result of this realization); it is the truth. And the more people take it to heart, the happier we will be and the easier it will be to decide what are worth prioritizing and what can be relegated to the back when it comes to the choices we make.

When you think of yourself as a gift, you'll naturally expect to be treated well, to be treated carefully. Because you are a big deal.

Now that we're talking gifts, a lot of those boxed presents and be-ribboned blooms are being handed out this week (the entire month, actually, as Valentine's Day in the more commercialized locales is extended into a long money-making opportunity -- not being cynical here, just presenting a pragmatic perspective with which quite a number of entrepreneurs treat the occasion). Enjoy them! At the same time, choose wisely when it comes to invitations to celebrate a "Happy Hearts' Day". Choose what wisely? The person extending the invite, your ensemble, the activity, the venue, the decision (to accept or not to accept), everything. If you're the guy, let your inner gentleman come out if you've been keeping him in hiding. For some pointers to consider (and some entertaining reads), here are links worth checking out. It's Valentine Month, but I suggest not reading them with rose-colored glasses (read: take them in with eyes wide open):

Equal love is unequal love

On protecting your lady love

Putting the "Saint" back in Valentine's Day 

"Purity Ring 3000"

Of chastity, tattoos, and the Powerpuff Girls

P.S. Oh, parents, I think you will want to see this

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