Valentine's Day. Some say it's a created holiday, meant for retailers to rake in big bucks selling flowers, candy and jewelry to hapless young men wooing the girl of their dreams. But, historically, it's a long-debated holiday stemming from three possible St. Valentines who were all martyrs. Meaning they DIED for what they believed in. Now, I'm all for dying for the ones you love, but let's take a dramatic step back, shall we?
To me, Valentine's day is about love. And not just between lovers, but real, true love that relationships are made of. Love for children, parents, siblings, friends.......love for those who are unloved or unlovable. To be loved, we have to love. It's all about the give and take. Love is like water or food, everyone needs it, and those who don't receive it starve their souls. People who are not in a romantic relationship often hate Valentine's day or condemn those who are "in love". But everyone wants to be loved. Perhaps not everyone can have an intimate, romantic relationship with the love of their life, but everyone can love and be loved.
I remember working as a daycare provider many years ago. I was just a teenager and taking care of elementary school kids. Everyone loved the cute, sweet, clean kids. But the ones who had runny noses, unkempt hair, bad behavior - those kids got passed over when it came time to dole out hugs or pull into a lap for a quick cuddle. It made me sad, and I decided then and there that it was the people who are MOST "unlovable" who need love more than anything. It's not always easy to love someone who is unappealing or angry or cynical, but everyone needs love. And the more we give love, the more we receive love.
So, this Valentine's day, go ahead and be a sucker. Buy the cards, candy, jewelry, doo-dads that are pink and red and heart-shaped and scream of marketing. I love that stuff, it makes me smile. But it's love that makes us happy. It's love that feeds our souls. It's love that we need to give and receive. Go on, go love!