I've updated and expanded this post from my archives to celebrate this special day.
I confess to having mixed feelings about this Valentine's Day, primarily because it has been so shamelessly commercialized and trivialized. It must be a painful day it for those who are alone or who have recently lost loved ones.
A venerable tradition
Since connecting with others is an essential key to the #HeartspokenLife, however, let's explore the roots of this very old holiday. According to Wikipedia, Saint Valentine's Day (shortened later to Valentine's Day) was established in the fifth century by Pope Gelasius to commemorate one or more Christian martyrs. It has come to represent a time for lovers to celebrate their love and affection with gifts and cards. “The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.”
The origin of St. Valentine's association with the day is actually shrouded in mystery. One legend holds that he was put to death for conducting marriage ceremonies that flouted a decree against Emperor Claudius II's laws prohibiting young men in his military service from having wives and families. Other stories credit St. Valentine with rescuing Christians from imprisonment. Others say he sent the first greeting from prison to his beloved and signed it, “From your Valentine.”
There's no bad time to say “I love you!”
Despite my disappointment with the exploitation of the day, there is never a bad time to express your love for someone, and if it takes a formal holiday to help you express your affection to the loved ones in your life, then I'm all for it. If I may suggest just one “Connection Tip” for the occasion: don't just send a card or note that says “I love you!” Include a personal message about what it is that you love about that person and why you cherish them. When family members go through memorabilia after someone has died, these are the kinds of notes that are saved and read over and over.
Don't put off saying “I love you.”
Don't assume someone knows how you feel about them. Tell them. Tell them right now. And if you don't get it done on Valentine's Day, for heaven's sake, don't wait another year.
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