Happy Valentine’s Day! How are you celebrating it? Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love. This day was originated to celebrate two saints named Valentine that were martyred on February 14th. They could also be one in the same person. The earliest evidence of Valentine’s Day is in Geoffrey Chauser’s writing in the 14th century. It was only in the eighteen hundreds that the card companies pushed the idea of celebrating romantic love on Valentine’s Day. St. Valentine is the patron saint of love, young people and happy marriages.
What is love? I asked this question a few months ago and got many diverse answers. Love is…a feeling. An action. My children. My faith. Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave His life for me. I’ve never been in love. I don’t know. I found that a person’s answer was in relation to what they were experiencing in their life. A person who doesn’t have children would never answer that question with “what I feel for my children” or attempt to answer it that way. That is what love is to me. But that wasn’t the question now was it? The question was “What is love?” The answer is that it is too broad to define and that every answer that was given is correct. We must live love and we must show love. But how do you love someone?
To love someone else, you must love yourself first. You can’t give what you don’t have. The amount of love you give to others corresponds directly to how much you love yourself. Loving yourself corresponds to how much you accept yourself, warts and all. “In order to love you have to trust, believe, and accept; and if you can do that with yourself than you can do that with others.” (Leo Buscaglia) To be more specific, you can’t share what you don’t have. Also, we don’t lose love when we “give it away” because we really aren’t giving it away we are sharing it. And the wonderful thing about sharing love is that you will get it back! You can only grow in love! The only way to get more love in your life is to give it away.
Love is a learned phenomenon. If we weren’t shown love than we can’t expess it for others. Here’s the good thing: If we didn’t learn it then, than we can learn it now! We can show love many different ways. We can show it through: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.1 This goes for everyone, not only a romantic partner. Figure out their love language and give, give, give them your love! Philosopher Erich Fromm said, “In giving to another, you give to yourself.” What do you give someone you love? The most valuable thing you have! The most valuable thing is YOU! Spend time with them. It’s that’s simple! Take 5 minutes and sit with them. Sit with them and look into each others eyes. You look into mine and I’ll look into your’s and we will exchange things that cannot be said with words. In fact, it’s beautiful. What if they don’t want to receive your love? That’s on them, not on you. They have to figure out why they can’t accept love. You just love them with all of your heart.
Love, gratitude, and happiness go hand in hand. One affects the other. Gandhi said, “Where there is love there is life.” Love gives us life and loving gives us fullfilment. Without love in our lives our lives would be empty, our hearts hollow, our personhood incomplete. Like Leo Buscaglia says, “Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.” So let’s celebrate the most powerful force we have in our lives by sharing it not only on Valentine’s Day but everyday. Go ahead and share your love away.
© LS Wellness, LLC
1 Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages: the secret to love that lasts, 36.