February is the month of love; but what exactly is love?
Hallmark Greeting Cards built a business out of it. Nazareth told us in song that; “love hurts, love scars” whilst countless others have tried to explain it to us in verse, film, book and art.
Many people believe love is an emotion, others feel it is a connection. Perhaps it’s both? I don’t want to try to define it, instead, I want to simply celebrate it!
Love is different things to different people. It can be expressed a number of ways. Author of the amazing book ‘The 5 Love Languages’ Gary Chapman, says that it can be conveyed through; words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch.
How do you express your love? Do you write cards or notes? Do you give gifts? Do you express it verbally or physically? Do you like to do special things for your partner or is the best way to show it by spending quality time together? There are countless ways of demonstrating you love someone. Love is therefore, many things, but what it is not, is passive.
Love doesn’t just ‘happen’. It requires effort. It is a choice. A choice you make continuously to your partner and those you love that tells them through word, action and/or deed, that you revere, cherish and acknowledge them. It lets them know that they are very important to you.
Love is joy. It can make our stomachs flutter, our hearts skip a beat, our palms sweat and our skin tingle. Understandably therefore, we crave it. We want to give it and we want to receive it. Love heals. It unifies, bonds, celebrates and connects us. But it is a choice.
February is regarded as the month of love because it contains Saint Valentine’s Day (14th), a celebration of love whose origins, many believe, trace back to a priest of the same name who was martyred around AD 496. But it was not until 1382 when famous poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote:
For this was on St. Valentine’s Day,
When every bird cometh there to choose his mate
– of course he didn’t use those exact words – I’ve taken the liberty of using the modern translation – that the true spirit of St. Valentine’s Day was born.
Valentine’s Day is wonderful, because it serves to remind us of the importance of expressing our love. But it shouldn’t be relied upon as the one time each year, it is to be demonstrated. Everyday should be Valentine’s Day!
Love is a choice. If you’re lucky enough to have someone special in your life, show them, but not just one day a year. Every day. A hug, a kiss, a kind word, a pair of earrings or a watch ☺ Love is active. It requires effort, but the rewards far outweigh anything else we know.
I might be showing my age, but perhaps Huey Lewis explained it best in his song ‘The Power of Love’:
The power of love is a curious thing
Make a one man weep, make another man sing
Change a heart to a little white dove
More than a feeling, that’s the power of love
Love is a blessing. It is a gift. So give it generously, and treat Valentine’s Day as a reminder of how we should behave toward our loved ones every day.