IT’S GETTING TO BE THAT SEASON!!
Valentine’s Day is coming up—
In remembering Saint Valentine, who evidently started this “courtly” holiday, I learned that the actual history of this holiday is a little mixed up. But interesting, anyway!
Saint Valentine was evidently a clergyman in the Roman Empire who ministered to persecuted Christians.
It looks like Pope Galasius I established The Feast of Saint Valentine, to be included as someone “to be justly revered among men”, …”but whose acts are known only to God”.
There appears to be many legends, and many Saint Valentines behind this holiday. These are some “facts” that I found:
1. He restored sight to the daughter of a Judge who had Saint Valentine under house arrest for evangelizing Christians. As a result, the judge and his family and his whole household became Christians.
2. Before his execution for helping Christians, he wrote a note to the daughter of King Asterius, signed “From Your Valentine”, said to have inspired today’s romantic holiday.
3. He was a Roman priest martyred under the reign of Claudius Gothicus. He had been arrested and imprisoned after being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians, who were being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. In marrying the couples, he allowed the husbands involved to escape compulsory enlistment into Claudius’ army. He was finally stoned and beaten and when he had not died, was decapitated, after he had tried to convince Claudius to become a Christian.
It is said that Saint Valentine “cut hearts from parchment” giving them to these persecuted Christians, possibly being the origin of the widespread use of hearts on Valentine’s Day.
There were evidently several Saint Valentines, as this appeared to be a popular name at this time in history. Most were clergy. Probably 11 of the saints with this same name were commemorated in the Roman Catholic Church. At least 4 of these were martyred on the actual date of February 14. Which Saint Valentine matches which story? No one seems to know for sure. So the exact history of our Valentine’s Day is a bit hazy to say the least!
Pope Gelasius I did establish the Feast of Saint Valentine, known also as Saint Valentine’s Day. This holiday was recognized by Roman Catholics, the Greek Orthodox Church, and was also added to the Lutheran Calendar of Events.
So! There is a brief and mixed-up bit of history for today’s way of celebrating Valentine’s Day!
Regardless of the true identity of Saint Valentine, in our world of today, we have this special day to show LOVE.
We typically show love to our partners, and just in general to special people we care about.
In these times of possibly being over-stressed, over-worked, and with a schedule full of “No-Time”, how do we show LOVE, and who do we show it to?
They say Valentine’s Day is the #1 money-making holiday after Christmas. If we have the extra money, sending flowers is a good option—no real effort, just making the call and paying the bill. Done.
But what else could we do?
First, How do we WANT it to be? How do we actually want our show of affection to be received? (Well, that is, if we DO actually WANT to show up for this day…)
I believe small gestures can be just as meaningful—if they’re sincere—as large and more expensive gestures.
As an example, for several people in an office, I used to stop by and pick up a box of (my) favorite (individually wrapped in RED) candy,and put one or two on each desk. On years when I was organized enough to do it, I would set the candies on personal valentines on the desks.
Anyone’s imagination could go any direction to use minimal time, and minimal effort, but show your LOVE.
Of course, for your Special Sweetheart, you might want to search down a little deeper in that imagination.
Whatever you do, think first of HOW you want the person to feel. Then go from there. Oh…And put this on your calendar for a couple of weeks prior…because, as always, Planning is what makes it happen. Or not.
Now, more to the point of what I want to get to: YOU!!
What if there was a “Valentine’s Day” for YOU. YOURSELF! To show “YOU” how Special You Are, and how much you’re loved…
I wonder how it would be (for you) to DECLARE A Special Day—say maybe a couple days before Valentine’s Day, or maybe a week before. And actually decide how you want to show Yourself, You’re Loved. You won’t have to depend on anyone else to show you—and no room to be disappointed.
(And if you don’t feel you love yourself…it’s time to Change That!)
(How can you truly love others as yourself, if you don’t Love Yourself..)
Do this according to how big or small you wanted it to be. If you’ve been wanting to learn about cooking more healthy meals (maybe family disagrees), declare a treat for You (if you enjoy it!) to learn, and then to plan and prepare the meal. If someone in your household isn’t fond of the way you want to cook, make sure they know ahead of time, it’s for YOU, so they’ll have time to prepare themselves to be brave and try it, or to have something else for themselves.
You could plan a massage, or some other treat, to show yourself You’re Special! Planning a hike, or a day trip with some friends might be more what you want to do. But whatever you do, give yourself some recognition of some kind. You Are Important to You!
I was in a group last week, and my friend, Heather Aardema asked us if we would write a few sentences, writing ourselves a Love Letter from “Love” itself. Telling us what LOVE wants us to know. Thank you so much, Heather, for this exercise!
Well, I consider that God is Love. According to scripture. In that context, this is what I wrote.
Love is Right Here.
I am Right Here.
When you feel lack of communication from those you love,
Love is right here.
When you feel alone…
When you feel misunderstood…
I am Love. And
I am Here.
Touch your hands. Feel your hands. Each crevice in your skin, each little difference in the feel. Just close your eyes, and feel.
And Know, Love is here.
Heather is also the one who gave me the idea of the hands. Just try closing your eyes, and feeling your hands. It has the most calming and caring effect.
Please do yourself a favor and try this exercise of writing yourself a letter. Just let your imagination go wild! Just for yourself.
And, I hope you enjoyed the hazy history of Valentine’s Day!
Until next week, Enjoy your Life!
If you would like to schedule a one-on-one session with me, just email me and let me know. I respond to email; I’m here and I want to help you. Let’s create some more Calm together.
If you are not on her mailing list to receive her weekly email about all things Functional Medicine and Health, Sign Up Below. And Thank You for Reading!