V Day! 2021
“Falling in love with love
Is falling for make-believe
Falling in love with love
Is playing the fool…”
Well this is one of those famous songs sung by Frank Sinatra, one of many crooners who have added to the enchantment and romance of the idyllic image of love with these lyrics. I am sure it is a song that your mother’s and father’s generation will remember. But, I think that the song pretty well sums up this whole image that we have around the romantic ideal and idea of love.
The date is February 14th — coming soon. For some people it will be either the most romantic day of your year, or the most dreaded one. You will either come to love the idea of V Day, or you will hate it. You will either share that day with one special person, or you will share it with all those around you, or perhaps you will be alone. It all depends on you.
Love is in the air and lovers across the country will be looking to see how best they can mark this date on the calendar on this most ‘loved up’ day. Does it not seem slightly hypocritical, that you would express your love and affection for your dearly beloved for only one day? Surely if it was true love, then there would be enough love for all 365 days! Then why not make everyday a Valentine’s Day?
We can see the vast difference in the nature and meaning of the words that we use. ‘Love’ and ‘like’ are two different energies entirely. When we love someone we care and have compassion for them. But when we like someone then what do we do? Let us take a lesson from Master Buddha, he understood life with all its complexities.
“When you like a flower, you just pluck it.
But when you love a flower, you water it daily…”
The origins of Valentine’s Day are not as romantic as we might think today. In fact, the whole event we now celebrate began to commemorate the death and martyrdom of a priest who met a bloody end at the hands of the Romans. The name “Valentine” is derived from valens – meaning to be worthy, strong, and powerful. It was believed by the Romans that single men had more strength, and would therefore last longer in the grueling battles in the Roman arenas, (these battles were to the death). Remember this was considered a sort of sport at the time!!
A priest called Valentine would marry the men to protect them from having to fight for the Roman Emperor’s entertainment. For his efforts the priest was put to death. The Catholic Church chose to commemorate this event and make him a saint, and so Valentine’s Day began.
Saint Valentine was not exceptionally more venerated than any of the other saints, and it seems that in England no church was ever dedicated to him. Well, certainly no romance there then. So, the love element was not so much to do with Cupid’s arrow, but because marriage offered protection for the men, and one priest had the courage to perform those marriages. For his efforts he paid with his life. Strangely what has evolved is the idea of love and Valentine’s Day.
The celebration first became famous around the 14th century. However, Valentine’s Day gained greater popularity in the late 18th century where it evolved into an occasion where lovers expressed their love for each other. They did this by presenting flowers, sharing confectionaries and with the sending of greeting cards, known as valentines. From this time onward we can see a change in the way people declare their affection for their beloveds. However, not everyone is happy on V Day! Some religious activists and other such groups may not be happy with too much free love and awkward demonstrations of love in public.
Sometimes it might feel as though the big V Day is simply a time to bolster up the profits of the multi-million-dollar card industry! With thousands of Valentine paraphernalia all over the shops, from hearts, to arrows, to chocolates and bunnies. There is more than a little pressure to make something of the event! You might feel like falling in love, even if there is no admirer or suitor in your orbit that fits the bill!! All this just in order to put a stamp on the day or to fit in yourself!
However, be aware! Do not get sucked into the illusion of a Mr. or Mrs. Perfect waiting to appear on V Day! That Valentine Saint you have been waiting for is YOU! Yes! You are the one you have been waiting for! It’s high time that you fell in love with yourself. You have to rescue yourself. Wake up. No one is going to do it for you. Sorry! I would rather you break the illusion of romance, than for Cupid to break your heart!
Falling in love, is falling under the illusion of love. Why do we need to fall? Who are we fooling when we are falling? Don’t take me wrong, I am not a romance or party pooper. I believe that love with a touch of romance is possible, but not unless that romance is infused with respect and some spiritual love. My feeling is that, more often than not, it will simply lead to a whole lot of dis-appointment and heartache.
This is my understanding of spiritual love:
- Spiritual love gives first, and this type of love does not take.
- Spiritual love is liberating and not binding – there is no pressure or abuse involved in this sort of love.
- Spiritual love is permanent and not temporary – it does not blow hot and cold with the wind, or each passing whim.
- Spiritual love is equal to and for all, there is no bias for anyone.
- Spiritual love is selfless, it is not filled with expectations, attachments or agendas.
- Spiritual love is kind, there is not the pull and push of a love-hate type which gives sorrow to others and eventually the self too.
- Spiritual love adds to the relationship, this love doesn’t take away from the relationship.
- Spiritual love makes both souls feel equal, here neither one is superior or inferior to the other.
If you really want to make something of the day without feeling like a loser, why not see Valentine’s Day as a DAY TO LOVE ALL! Instead of waiting for that heart, chocolates or champagne to arrive. Why not be the one to send out your heartfelt good wishes to all souls? Why not share your love with the whole world without any expectations?
It’s Time… to realize that the one nearest and dearest, that one you have been forever waiting for is the one looking back at you in the mirror!! Perhaps, we all need to learn to love ourselves a little more. Happy Valentine’s Day.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK