It’s Valentine’s Day! A day for expressing love to partners, friends, family….all those who are dear to you. A day for reaching out to those who may feel lonely or grief-filled. From roses to greeting cards to chocolate, Americans will spend approximately $18 billion to celebrate this 2017 day of love. But what if you’re longing for sense of love beyond the roses? You’re happy in a relationship or not. Family ties are strong. Friends are close. Isn’t their a deeper, more universal, love to embrace? This Valentine’s Day, my colleague, Monica Karal, writing for the February 14, 2017 edition of The Christian Science Monitor, is longing for a bigger heart. Her experience, in overcoming criticism and coldness from an acquaintance through a larger sense of love, is inspiring. Here’s Monica:
Know what I’m hoping for this Valentine’s Day? A bigger heart. No, not a chocolate one wrapped in red foil, but the real thing. I like to think of Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to open my heart to a more expansive sense of love.
The first official St. Valentine’s Day was established in AD 496 as a religious feast day in memory of one or more priests named Valentine, possibly a 3rd-century priest martyred in Rome by Emperor Claudius. According to legend, Valentine got himself in trouble by conducting illegitimate weddings. The emperor had forbidden soldiers to marry because he believed married men made poor soldiers, but Valentine continued to conduct weddings for soldiers who wanted to marry their beloved ones. He was jailed, and ended up falling in love with the jailer’s daughter. Before he was martyred, he gave her a note that read “From your Valentine.”
In the 14th century, St. Valentine’s Day came to be celebrated as a day honoring romantic love, inspired by the love poetry of Chaucer and other poets. It has since expanded to include expressions of affection to friends and family.
We all need affection and support, and there are different types of love that can be shared and enjoyed….