Guest blog post for Valentine’s Day
by Richard Clark of The Gabriel Series.
St. Valentine’s Day approaches. If you look at how the holiday is presented, you’d likely conclude that love is identical with sex, and that the entirety of civilization is already paired up, like the animals waiting to enter Noah’s Ark.
But not everyone is part of a pair. Some of us are single, or single again. Some of us are waiting for that one great love of our life. Some of us had that love, and tragically lost it.
I lost my wife to cancer a couple of years ago. Although I am convinced she is still with me, my life will never be the same. Valentine’s Day will never be the same.
In reflecting on this, I began to notice things about the holiday I’d never seen before. As I said, it seems to be a holiday directed toward sexual partners and not to any other kind of love, and certainly not to those who are single.
So I took it up on myself, with the encouragement of my son, Gabriel, to pen a short post on Valentine’s Day for (as he puts it) the rest of us. A sort of Valentine’s Festivus, if you will. (Hat tip to Seinfeld)
1 - St. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. But love isn’t identical with sex. If you reduce love to sex then you are missing out on other important kinds of love. Think of Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate your love for others – friends, family, co-workers, fellow citizens, the homeless, and those in need.
2 - You can’t celebrate love of others without having love for yourself. It’s important to care for yourself and to treat yourself with kindness. We all have internal monologues that whisper doubts and nasty words in our ears. Silence them. Speak to yourself and others with compassion and charity.
3 - Do something. Love is a verb, as well as a noun. Be practical. You can show love for your friends by being thoughtful. You can show love for humanity by being generous and patient.
4 - Reject the lie that says that only couples are happy. Being part of a couple can contribute to happiness, but it brings with it a host of challenges. The same can be said for a single life. You don’t need another person to make you happy, and more importantly, you shouldn’t look to another person to seal your happiness. This will only lead to disappointment. Focus on other meaningful things – living a good life, being charitable and generous, developing your faith and spirituality, becoming a peacemaker, etc.
I wish you all a very happy St. Valentine’s Day and I hope that you will be kind to yourself and others today and throughout the year.
With every good wish,