“Inexpressible is the emotion of Love, so difficult to explain, like a dumb person eating a sweetmeat only smiles, unable to speak of the sweetness”- Kabir.
Here it is again – 14th February, Valentine Day – when people in most parts of the world collectively celebrate Love, in all its forms! It has become a massive cultural and commercial celebration of romance. Couples exchange gifts, flowers, chocolates and heart-shaped cakes, balloons, pillows and so on. Along with beautiful Valentine cards. But the definition of love encompasses all kinds of love and affection and now people, including children, also express their love and affection for the people they care for, by giving gifts, flowers, cards etc. It could be between children and parents, children and teachers, friends, other relatives etc. And…. do not forget to appreciate your own self – if no one around you believes in gifting, do give yourself something that delights you…..as Lord Buddha said “you yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”.
So how did this Christian festival of St. Valentine become an international day of love? Legend has it that there were two Christian men named Valentine who were both executed on 14th February, though in different years, by Claudius II. One of them had performed a miracle by restoring sight to his Jailor’s daughter in prison, and wrote a letter to her signed—your Valentine, before he was beheaded. The other one, had conducted Christian weddings of young lovers (soldiers) in secret, though they had been forbidden by the Pope. He too was beheaded.
Valentine’s image as a heroic and romantic person sympathetic to lovers, made him a symbol of love and freedom. It is believed that the Church merged the pre-christian pagan festival of fertility called Lupercalia, with the popular St, Valentine Martyrdom day to Christianize it. In the year AD 496, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as the Feast of St. Valentine. But it became associated with romantic love from 14th-15th Century onwards. It was Geoffrey Chaucer, the English poet, who first popularized it as a celebration of love, in the year AD 1375 through his poem “the parlement of foules”. Victorian England of 18th Century started the trend of cards, flowers, gifts etc.
The way we express or experience love is influenced by our personal perceptions of love. It is unique to each individual, as it should be. Don’t worry about society’s pressure to conform to general notions of love and how to behave. It is very hard to define this ephemeral emotion of love – some call it chemistry. Hard to explain the attraction, the yearning for the one specific person, whether imperfect or flawed, because the need to love or be loved is paramount in all human beings. The feeling that someone loves us for ourselves, despite our shortcomings and will be a life-partner, sharing all joys and sorrows with us, is so reassuring and blissful!
The initial irresistible attraction and passionate love, eventually settles into a more enduring companionship/compassionate mode – mutual respect, understanding, affection and trust. Then there is the familial love – the unconditional love of parents, grandparents and between other family members. The mutual affection between friends, the affection and respect between students and teachers and so on. Love makes the world go round!
It is essential to express your love and affection to people you care about in various ways:
- Let them know you care, often.
- Listen to what they have to say.
- Do your best and be willing to apologize when you are in the wrong.
- Be willing to forgive the other’s mistakes.
- Reciprocate loving gestures and kindness.
- Recognize and appreciate their good qualities, compliment often.
- Share things, communicate frankly.
- Show unconditional love, don’t attach strings.
A loving, secure relationship contributes to our sense of well-being and stability in life, making us happy, healthy in mind and body and contented. It lowers the risk of developing serious illnesses, leading to longevity.
“Every person is capable of an infinite wealth of love, because the beauty of the soul knows no limit.” – Rabindranath Tagore
Please do not hesitate to contact us at EMOHA ELDER CARE for any kind of assistance, whether medical or emotional or daily needs. For us it is always #EldersFirst.