Best time to understand love and its power, says Marty Varnadoe Dow
We might have missed the deeper meaning of Valentines Day by singling out romantic love as the focus of this days ultimate meaning. Love is multifaceted. It is more than emotion. Love is a force that can motivate, create, heal and transform the lives of anyone it touches . Many of us have forgotten that this day was created to recognize a saint.
Over time, Valentines Day has become blended with two other ancient Roman holidays Lupercalis and Juno both associated with romance. However, Saint Valentines life exemplifies a broader definition of love. The Roman Catholic Church recognizes eight different saints named Valentine but the most famous one lived in Rome during the reign of Claudius II, around the year 270 AD.
Legend has it that Claudius II outlawed marriage as a way to encourage men to join his army. Valentine refused to obey this law and was arrested for secretly performing weddings for young couples . While in prison, Valentines kindness and positive attitude helped convert the jailer and his wife to Christianity.
According to the legend, Valentine also befriended the jailers blind daughter, often writing her notes of encouragement and praying for her. Word of Valentines kindness and compassion reached Claudius II. He offered to release Valentine if the priest would renounce his religion and worship the Roman gods. Valentine not only refused, but he tried to convert Claudius II to Christianity . Claudius II rejected this attempt and condemned Valentine to death.
As the legend goes, Valentines prayers were answered, and the jailers daughter was healed. On the eve of his execution, Valentine wrote a note assuring this young girl that she was not responsible for his death. He signed the note from your Valentine .
As we can see, Valentines story represents many aspects of love. It was his love for God and his commitment to his values that caused him to disobey the law. His respect for romantic love is also included in his disobedience. His positive and loving attitude, even in the midst of crisis, affected the views of others including the jailer and Claudius himself. He demonstrated love for humanity through his kindness to the jailers blind daughter.
The following are ways to broaden our celebration of Saint Valentines Day: being your own valentine; sharing meaningful and heartfelt appreciation to all the important people in your life, not just your lover; practicing random acts of kindness to strangers; and recommitting to your own spiritual values.
However, the most important way to put the power back into this day of love is to learn to use the force of love to transform your life. Love can be consciously directed to bring peace and harmony into your world.
In our minds eye, envision a world filled with love and light, see people responding to you with kindness and respect as you do the same with them.
Join this image with the feelings of joy as you release the force of love into your life.
This process may seem simplistic , but love works. I have taught this technique to people for over twenty years. The reports have been fantastic. People have healed relationships that have been damaged for years. Parents have seen dramatic improvements in the behaviour of their children. Workers have witnessed profound changes in conflicts on the job. The only way you will know if it works is to try it. Do the exercise for two weeks and see if your life is not improved.
You might want to pick a particular person or situation with which to experiment. You will not be disappointed.
Make a commitment to forget the fluff and get down to the real stuff. Celebrate the power of love on Saint Valentines Day. You will be glad you did.