14th February signals the celebration of Valentine’s Day. Saint Valentine, cupids, hearts, red roses, cards with loving prose, this is romantic love and it is exciting and beautiful, but there is so much more to love.
In the English language we use only the one word love for so many things: our children, our favourite dress, chocolate, God…
I like the fact that the Greek language has 6 words for love to distinguish between the different depths of love:
Eros passionate love;
Philia love for a friend;
Ludus playful love;
Pragma longstanding love,
Agape love for everyone,
Philautia love of the self.
On Valentine’s day this year, please indulge me by responding to my two requests. The first is to LOVE YOURSELF. Put Philautia into practise. This doesn’t mean to be selfish and vain, it means to respect yourself and to take care of yourself. We often look for love outside ourselves, and this can lead to disappointment and even self-destruction. Take a moment today and write down all the things you love about the person you are. Then note the things you can do for yourself on 14th February. Here are a few of my suggestions: go for a walk in the park enjoy the fresh air and space; buy yourself some flowers; listen to your favourite music; run a bath; have a massage; say no!
The second is to LOVE SOMEONE YOU DISLIKE this Valentine’s Day. PutAgape into practise.
Why? Because it’s good for you and it’s good for others and thus it’s good for our world. It’s easy to love people who love us; give gifts to people who give gifts to us; spend time with those who make time for us.
The real challenge of LOVE is to be kind to someone you dislike. Be encouraged today to make a phone call, write an email, say a private prayer or send a flower to someone with whom you have become estranged. Keep it simple. You will benefit hugely from this act. It has been scientifically proven that giving is good for us. We feel good about ourselves and the world after we have experienced thoughtfulness and kindness towards another. It boosts our physical and mental wellbeing. So if you can’t stand the thought of doing this for someone else, do it for yourself!
I’d love, oops, I mean I’d like, to hear what you did – feel free to message me.