February 14th is a day that many get excited about and yet for many others, it brings up loneliness and pain. What does Valentine’s Day do to you? Is it a day of joy and celebration? Is it a day of sorrow and pain? Or is it a day like any other? And most importantly what is Valentine’s Day really supposed to be about?
What is Valentine’s Day?
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. At the time Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine saw it as injustice and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Claudius found out what he was doing he ordered for him to be put to death.
Another legend says that Valentine was killed for helping Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. It has also been said they the first “valentine” greeting was given to Valentine while he was in prison. Stories say that he fell in love with a young girl possibly his jailor’s daughter who visited him in confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed, “from your Valentine”.
Modern Day Valentines
By middle 18th century, it was common for friends and lovers to exchange gifts of affection or handwritten notes expressing love. By 1900 we began printing cards due to printing technology. Today nearly 1 billion dollars will be spent on greetings cards for Valentine’s Day. Today Valentine’s Day is celebrated in US, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Japan it’s all about the men, the women give chocolate to the men.
Those in relationships can both enjoy and dread. They enjoy when there is time and money to do something special together and share gifts. They dread when there was just a fight in the relationship, lack time and money. Or how about singles? Many singles dread Valentine’s Day. While guys and girls have their own specific set of challenges that stem from this holiday; the single woman’s struggle is unique for many reasons. Many women have been taught to hold Valentine’s Day in high regard and often feel like they’re lacking in the relationship area of their life if they are single on Valentine’s Day. Society teaches us that we’re not complete if we’re not in a romantic relationship. As a result, a lot of people feel like they don’t measure up.
Though Valentine’s Day can be a painful reminder of the fact that you’re single, it doesn’t have to be. Instead of being depressed about being single another Valentine’s Day here are some things to focus on instead. Human beings were created for love, intimacy, nurturing, and community. All of these basic human needs can only be obtained through functional loving relationships. Life without love, intimacy, nurturing and community becomes hard, constructive, superficial, shallow, and colorless. This love is all around and doesn’t cost. You can learn some tricks to begin to enjoy more love in your life whether you are single or not. We all need and want love but it doesn’t need to come from an intimate relationship. This love isn’t just a love between two people it’s a love between a person and their life. It’s having a sense of thankfulness and gratitude towards life and the people in it.
Love feeds us, yet doesn’t come on a plate. We can gain healthy sources of love in things such as a meaningful spiritual practice, an inspiring career, regular and enjoyable physical activity and honest and loving relationships that feed your soul and your hunger for living.
The more healthy love we receive, the less we depend upon things to make us happy. The more love we have the more happiness becomes a part of who we are rather our happiness being based on what other are doing or not doing. This happiness is not based on circumstances but it’s a happiness within you that cannot be taken away.
5 Tips to Create More Love in Your Life:
Celebrate the love you do have in your life already. Gratitude is a powerful thing and is directly tied to love and appreciation.
Recognize your barriers to love. Perhaps you have been hurt or betrayed by a past relationship or you fear of being vulnerable to other people.
Give for the sake of giving. One of the best ways to bring more love into your life is to give your time and energy to others who need your help.
Spend time with people who inspire and support you
Commit to positive changes. Everyone has some part of their life they want to improve . . . the “gaps” that exist between who they are and what they want to be.