Valentine’s Day, Every Day!
By: J. Marlando
St. Valentine’s Day was not always a romantic holiday but rather evolved during the time of the very early Christians who honored saints named Valentinus and who were either martyred or suffered greatly under Roman persecution. Slowly Valentine’s Day became a romantic holiday and by the 1500s it had evolved in being an occasion during which lovers expressed their feelings for each other by presenting flowers, presents and sending cards (called valentines) to each other. The major symbols for this special day include the winged cupid doves and the heart shape
With only a few exceptions no one is too young or old to participate in the romantic rituals of Valentine’s Day. I think I was around ten years old when I gave a little girl in my class a romantic card so she’d know that “I liked her.” And I always gave my mom and grandmother some kind of gift or at least a card on this day. It’s really nice when you can give someone you care about something special—dinner out, a beautiful bouquet of flowers; diamonds to candy! In our times some gals are giving their guys flowers just to say “I love you” on this special day. Something that would never have happened a hundred years ago!
There is a flaw in the romantic pudding of this dayhowever. Like every other day it passes and, in a turning of the world, all the old routines return and, especially for married couples, the “valentine” moods and motives diminish and typically go away.
I am certainly not suggesting that we bring home gifts every other day that we have candle light dinners every night. It’s just fine that we have only one day a year to celebrate our love and togetherness with our mates in these ways. On the other hand, I do believe there is an essential way of making every day Valentine’s Day for each other’s continued joy and happiness by simply making the seven, daily pledges shared below:
1. Today I will not neglect to tell my mate that I love her/him.
I will remember that beyond all else there is nothing that any of us want more than having someone in the world that knows all about us and loves us anyway.
2. Today I will remember to be tolerant
I will remember that my mate is ever as imperfect as I am and that we each make mistakes; are sometimes wrong and have our sour moods. I will not judge my mate today but rather I will show my love with tolerance and understanding. I will also remember that we are forever growing together.
3. Today I will not only be a lover but a best friend and ally
I will know that while we are in the same world together we each have our own realities, and therefore our own values and goals: Today I shall remember to applaud my mate from the grandstands of our lives together remembering to cheer him/her on to be all he/she can be, not only as a mate…but as a self.
4. Today I will give the gift of encouragement
I will encourage my mate today, refusing to ever belittle him/her. I will remind myself that we each live in a world of uncertainty and that sincere encouragement is often the greatest gift of all.
5. Today I will remember to simply be nice to my mate
I will make it a point today not to take my disappointments, anxieties and/or upsets out on my mate. Instead, I will remember to simply be nice. After all, our mates are also living in the absence of all they would have and all they would do. In remembering this, I will be kinder and more loving throughout our lives together.
6. Today I will love my mate
I will love my mate unconditionally. In the doing, I will be both trustful and trustworthy. I will be a willing teacher but also a willing student of my mate as we make the journey of our lives one with the other. After all, what more do any of us want than this?
7. Today my mate will be my Valentine
It is wonderful that we set one day a year to celebrate our togetherness which is really what Valentine’s Day is all about; the showing our love and appreciation for having one another in our lives. Yet, it should also be a day that launches the rest of the year in love, caring and sharing; a reminder that we all need nurturing and support as we make our ways through the noise and chaos of everyday life. Indeed, as we face the trials and tribulations of daily life we too often let the world get in our way of simply being nice to each other. When we remember to be nice to one another all the other acts of loving unfold and every day becomes a Valentine’s Day.