More than just a Hallmark Holiday
Whether we have bought our cards or not, St. Valentine’s Day is here once again. If you’re on your second date or second year, this day seems more often than not an exercise in anxiety. To impress our significant other, a wide array of rituals must be followed without fault. This usually requires an intensive pilgrimage to the florist, the grocer, and of course, Hallmark. We may be creating the ‘perfect’ date, but are we really creating the ‘perfect’ state of love?
On most days, but especially February 14, we attempt to do everything perfectly for our spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend. But, in doing so, we often forget to give the only gift that matters. Unconditional love, for your partner, for your community, for yourself, is the gift that is given directly to the soul. In a day that is dedicated to be a celebration of love, there is nothing we need to do but express that love for everything and everyone. Love people for who they are, instead of what they have done (or rather, what they have not done). Let it show, and let it be known unconditionally.
With Valentine’s Day, unconditional love is at the origin of the holiday itself. According to popular legend, St. Valentine was a priest in Rome under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. To enlist more soldiers into the Roman army, Claudius II banned marriages from occurring in the empire as to remove the emotional attachment of husbands leaving their wives for war. However, St. Valentine continued to hold marriages in secret, and then became a martyr for his cause. As St. Valentine’s love of love was truly unconditional, he had no fear even in the face of death itself. By loving without condition, without concern, the world is truly made a lovelier place to be.
So yes, the cardboard cherubs and the sugar hearts are a nice, but unnecessary, addition. What makes Valentine’s Day more than just a commercialized holiday is our choice to express our love in a form that doesn’t come with a warranty or the hopes of a return offer. Simply loving unconditionally will bring more love, light, and life into your relationship than any Hallmark card will. It is the gold crown of the soul.
(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)