THE EVOLUTION OF A NEW VALENTINE’S DAY
By Carmen Greger
When is the last time you said ‘I Love You’ ….
Go ahead and try it.
OK… Now, say it like you really mean it…
And if you don’t really mean it, then you’ve got some work to do. No worries, my friend, we all do, and it’s time.
Valentine’s Day is a day that has come to symbolize love, affection, and intimacy. Originally celebrated as a Christian feast day honoring Saint Valentine and also associated with ancient fertility festivals, this holiday has evolved into a time to express our love and appreciation for those who hold a special place in our hearts, not to mention the time to indulge in sweet and not-so-sweet commercialized celebration of February 14th.
However, in recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on the importance of self-love and embracing love for all humankind. This shift in focus beyond simply the romantic form of love, recognizes that true love, and the foundation for a loving world, begins with loving, nurturing and accepting ourselves as a priority so that we can truly, fully and completely extend our love to others.
Self-love is about embracing our individuality, recognizing our strengths and weaknesses, and treating ourselves with kindness and respect. It involves honoring and celebrating our authenticity, setting healthy boundaries, nurturing our bodies and minds, and investing time in our personal growth and overall well-being. Spa days, downtime, journaling, positive self-talk, fun adventures and special occasions with family and friends are also key components to self-love.
This is not an egotistical venture; this is a deep acknowledgement of the fact that we are Divine Beings here on Earth and we need to respect ourselves and others as such. Oftentimes, when we appear or even feel unloving, it is merely because we haven’t done our own ‘work’ of self-love.
When we practice self-love actively and consistently, we become naturally much more equipped and much more likely to extend love to others, including our partners, friends, family members and even passersby. When we show love and compassion to those around us, we create a ripple effect of positivity and kindness, which eventually, naturally boomerangs back to its origin and expands exponentially
In Marianne Williamson’s book ‘A Return to Love’, she writes:
“Love is energy. It’s not something we can perceive with our physical senses, but people can usually tell you when they feel it and when they don’t. Very few people feel enough love in their lives because the world has become a rather loveless place. We can hardly even imagine a world in which all of us were in love, all the time, with everyone There would be no wars because we wouldn’t fight. There would be no hunger because we would feed each other. There would be no environmental breakdown because we would love ourselves, our children and our planet too much to destroy it. There would be no prejudice, oppression of violence of any kind. There would be no sorrow. There would only be peace.”
Love is obviously much bigger than our own selves, but to paraphrase the potent and often used words of Gandhi, ‘we must be (the light and) change we want to see in the world. By actually BEING Love, we can much more effectively embrace and honor all of humankind, celebrate diversity and differences, and naturally and as a priority treat ourselves and everyone else with kindness, respect, compassion, nonjudgment and dignity.
When we do this proactively, wholeheartedly, consistently and constantly, we create a world that is more inclusive, loving, and accepting, as it becomes a reflection of ourselves. If we all do the work to be and share authentic love, the world will be a much more loving place.
Valentine’s Day is not just about romantic love, but about the love that we have for ourselves, the love that we extend to others, and the love that we show for all humankind. By practicing self-love and embracing love for all, we can create a world that is filled with positivity, kindness, ahimsa (non-violence) ananda (bliss), compassion, prosperity and peace.
Love Yourself & Share the Wealth!
Be & Spread the Love!
PS: I Love You, Love You Too, Love me.