Saturday, February 13, 2010
The Greatest Love of All
Ah, Valentine’s Day, a day for love. Many relish in the romance; others despise it. Personally, I was one who detested it for many years. My ex-husband asked me for a divorce on Valentine’s Day weekend fourteen years ago, thus my feud with February 14th began. I resented my ex and St. Valentine who had nothing to do with it except be guilty by association! I blamed my misery on anything related to the holiday, including those who enjoyed it. I resented the commercialism that took something pure such as love to make a profit while simultaneously “making” me feel less than because I was alone.
For many single men and women, V-Day can feel like D-Day. Hopelessness can overwhelm as we watch others in love coo like doves, relish in chocolate hearts and bling-bling, receive office floral deliveries, and enjoy romantic dinners. But our own misery is by our own design. While the focus is on couples and romance, the bottom line is that Valentine’s celebrates the love of God and for God.
The name "Valentine", derives from valens which means “worthy”; and the feast of St. Valentine was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among those “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God." Valentine was one of many Christians who were celebrated as a martyr on this feast. But for many lonely singles, we tend to cloak ourselves in martyrdom as we move through this holiday in resentment and bitterness thanks to the “wrongs” done to us by others. We root ourselves in feeling lonely and unwanted, and this space was where I resided energetically for many years hosting my very own Valentine’s Day pity party. Ironically, I, as well as many other singles that still do, missed the point of February 14 – it’s all about love. And while commercialism implies that we need someone in our lives to feel loved, this belief couldn’t be further from the truth!
We are loved!! Our Creator loves us. Our family loves us. Our friends love us. Here’s the big question: Do you love yourself? The Bible speaks of this many times, especially the point of “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” This quote demonstrates how our projection of feelings towards others is truly a mirror reflection of how we feel about ourselves; Luke, Leviticus, Matthew and Mark, to name a few, point this out. “Do onto others as you would have done onto you” is another famous quote that reflects the Law of Circulation: love another and know the love of others as well as for yourself. In this effort, we activate the Law of Attraction to bring greater love into our life. And Genesis 2:27 states that "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Aren’t we worthy of loving ourselves as God loved us enough to create us out of his own Being? As we love ourselves, we love our Creator and its Creation. As we lovingly embrace God Within, we embrace love for ourselves.
After several years of these “pity parties” with only one actual Valentine during that time, I woke up one day and decided what a whiny butt I was being. I was exhausted, drained from the waste of time and energy in my resentment, and I knew I was better than this bitterness – it wasn’t fun or productive. So I took responsibility for my own misery, releasing all who I'd been blaming and became my own Valentine. Starting a new tradition that lasted many years, I prepared elaborate candlelight dinners that made daily frozen dinners pale in comparison; I enjoyed a glass of wine, treated myself to red roses, and listened to romantic music. I simply began a love affair with God. One year I even had flowers from a “secret admirer” sent to myself at my office; that got tongues wagging and it was a thrill and immensely fulfilling that the big secret was they were from the Greatest Love of my life.
For those alone on this day of romance, be your own Valentine! Celebrate love of self; as the word Valentine reflects, you are worthy! And for those with Valentine’s, consider taking it to a richer level that reflects God’s love expressing more fully through you both, everyday beyond this one day of chocolates, bling-bling, and romantic dinners.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all!