February 2011: Love
“Love doesn’t make the world go ‘round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile…”
~ Franklin P. Jones
Ah, February. The month of Love. For some, this is more discouraging than uplifting. For me, that attitude is missing the spirit of Valentine’s Day: to celebrate love. The world would definitely be a different place without love. Others, however, have it confused with lust. Then it becomes a deplorable day indeed.
If it is true that love makes our journey worthwhile, then it is in everyone’s best interest to generate an environment of love: starting with self-care—not to be confused with selfishness, as it so often is. (This is beginning to sound like a very confusing time of year!) So go ahead—take special care of yourself on this Valentine’s Day and throughout the month of February.
Of course, we may tire of our own company and will need to broaden our environment of love to include the relationships around us: nurturing the ones we already have, and cultivating new ones.
I think it is very fitting that Family Day (for those provinces that observe it or a like-minded holiday) falls in February. To me, Valentine’s is Family Day; but two special days in one month—why not?
I’m sure I have my own family to thank for keeping Valentine’s broader in scope. Of the various Saint Valentines in recorded history, I’m confidant any of them would approve. It is also interesting to note that the romantic interpretation of Valentine’s Day is relatively new from sometime in the late Middle Ages (World Book Encyclopedia notes 1446 in England; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine’s_Day for more trivia).
Keeping with the traditional observation of feast days for honouring saints, why not reclaim the day of love with a memorable meal? Either for yourself, if you find your circle of significant others otherwise engaged, or gather a group of family and/or friends to acknowledge the importance of love and relationships. Send valentines or thoughtful messages to people you care about. Do something special for co-workers, neighbours, friends whom you relate with everyday.
Consider Valentine’s Day an opportunity to appreciate those around you. It could, in fact, be renamed Appreciation Day for those uncomfortable with the commercialized focus on romantic love.
No matter how loved—or unloved—you feel, you can create and nurture your own loving environment which truly will make the ride on this planet worthwhile.
So what are your plans to acknowledge and improve your relationships this month?
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love…”
~ Hamilton Wright Mabie