We first published this article in February of 2015. In that time, I have found love again and am engaged. But, the message I was trying to convey will always be true.
What is probably the most disliked holiday is creeping toward us. And this year, the chocolate and cherub beast lands on a Saturday! Talk about pressure for any newly budding relationship. It’s the sort of thing that propels a couple to the next level or sends at least one of them ducking social media for the next couple of weeks.
Why such disdain for a day that’s all about love? For starters, it’s a reminder of the love for which so many have searched but cannot find. For others, it’s just another annoying day of commercialism. I’ve been lucky in love. I’ve had a Valentine for all of my adult life; until last year that is. And, if I never find a love as magnificent and special again, I will consider myself fortunate for having it at all. And so, as I face another Valentine’s Day without my husband, I can’t help but think the holiday could be better for all of us if we cultivated a new perspective on love – one that celebrates human kindness, not just romance.
Over the past year, I have felt the love from so many different sources: friends, colleagues- even our mail carrier! I didn’t know it was possible to feel so much love and kindness. I’m so grateful for it, and that is why this Valentine’s Day, I hope everyone will look for and find love in unconventional places. Because it is beautiful if your eyes are open to it.
Love blossoms in many forms. Family bonds are unconditional. Best friends love each other with appreciation. But, it doesn’t have to be confined to these old standards. Those hippies were onto something- spread love, peace, and happiness man! For example, I love my employees, not only because they are dedicated and have my back, but because they make me laugh and are caring and good people. I love the folks at Roadrunner Moving because through the years they’ve treated me like a kid sister, guiding me and helping me avoid mistakes. I love my doctor because she listens, and goes way over the time limit when we’re chatting. Now listen, it’s not like I want to make out with any of these people, but I do love them. And if we could all show the different degrees of affection we have for our fellow human beings (even strangers) maybe Valentine’s Day would become a far more beloved holiday. And if we went further and practiced it every day, well, wouldn’t that just be a wonderful world?
For example, I’m sure you all have a colleague at work you love so much that if they left for another job, you would be devastated. What about the bartender at your usual spot who knows just what you want and serves it with a smile? How about your neighbor who helps you carry bags up to your 4th-floor walkup?
To tell the truth, no one can precisely say how the Feast of Saint Valentine became a tradition anyhow. The major consensus is he was a nice fella who was convicted for reasons unknown and sentenced to death somewhere between 100 and 500 AD. Some say his crime was officiating the marriages of soldiers who were forbidden to do so. Folklore says he wrote the first Valentine’s Day card to his daughter before his execution. But, it seems the romantic tradition of Valentine’s Day came much later, around the 18th century.
No matter the origins, it is clear the holiday is here to stay. So, why not all work to redefine it and turn it into something that allows us all to give and receive adoration? If humankind has a battery, I believe it is love. So, this year, let’s try to keep that battery charged and see what ensues. Look for love everywhere, and if you don’t see it, make it. Smile at strangers, hold the door for someone, or greet those whose paths you cross with a simple “Happy Valentine’s Day.” By no means is this a new idea, but we still might be surprised by the impact a simple act of kindness and love can have.
Happy Valentine’s Day Hauties! I love ya!