Valentine’s Day and the Importance of Love
~ By Mary E. Thompson
I really like four letter words. Some of my favorite words are four letter words.
I’ll spare you the ones that I save for the person who cuts me off in traffic (when my kids aren’t with me) or my books, but my favorite four letter word is Love.
What does love mean?
According to dictionary.com, love means…
A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person
A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend
Sexual passion or desire
We have a lot of ways to use the word love. I love the Buffalo Bills, even though they have the longest playoff drought in NFL history. I love pizza, even though my waistline doesn’t. I love my kids. Period. No conditions on that one. I love my parents and my family and my friends.
And I love my husband.
I’m very lucky to have a husband who is always there for me. He’s my best friend and the love of my life. He stood by me when I lost my job. When I had no idea what to do with myself. When I decided to pick up a career without any idea what I was doing. When we had kids. When I was scared, countless times. When I faced, and beat, stage four cancer.
Today is the day to celebrate that kind of love. It’s Valentine’s Day. Everyone around the world is getting flowers or candy or cards or some other token of affection from their loved ones. My kids brought Valentine’s cards in for their classmates and teachers. The grocery stores have been filled with flowers and everything you can imagine in a heart shape. Pink and red have exploded everywhere.
Don’t even think about ignoring the day, because you can’t.
Why is a holiday with very little ties to any one culture or religion such a big deal?
St. Valentine was a martyr of the Catholic church and is reported to have been put to death on February 14, 269. He was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and converting people to Christianity. While he was imprisoned, I’ve heard he wrote letters to people, love letters in a way, encouraging them toward love. In the third century, love was still a foreign concept as arranged marriages and betrothals claimed most people.
These love letters inspired Valentine’s of today. It’s a holiday that has become far less religious, even removed from the Roman Catholic calendar in 1969, and much more secular. You will find people of every faith and background celebrating.
But again, why?
Because love knows no boundaries. Love doesn’t care if you’re from different backgrounds, different races, different countries, or the same. Love doesn’t care if you knew each other growing up or just met yesterday. Love is love. And when you love someone, nothing else truly matters.
What would you do for love?
Would you sacrifice a friendship?
Would you give up your favorite food?
Would you skip your favorite tv show?
Would you give up your life?
They may not all be easy answers, but I’m willing to bet you would say yes. Love is so powerful that you would do anything for it. Not just to hold on to it, but to spare the person you love from suffering. To see them smile. To hear I love you.
Every single person wants to be loved. We all want to find that person we can laugh and cry and yell and fight with. The one you can say anything to and be your true self and know they’re going to love you no matter what. We all want to find that one person who makes us feel like we can do anything. Because when love is in our lives, we can.
We are surrounded by love every day. It’s on the radio, on tv, and in the books we write and read. Love adds an element of humanity to the most vicious of people. It makes things okay that wouldn’t be if not for the love driving them.
Love takes the darkness of life away. It makes you smile. It makes you healthier. It makes you get up every morning.
Just try to say I love you without feeling good. Without feeling that love seep into you, making your heart race just a little faster. Making your lips turn up in a grin. Making you reach out for the person you’re saying it to.
Love is the one thing in the world that can never be taken away. And that is why today is such a wonderful day. Because it’s a chance to celebrate how much we love each other. As friends, as family, as lovers.
Say I love you to someone today. You won’t regret it.
Then do it again tomorrow, and every other day. Because love should be celebrated… always.
Mary E. Thompson writes scintillating stories with a side of hope. As a lover of love, her stories center around love in many forms from family to friends to, of course, romantic love. Her 30th release comes out March 7. She spends her days hoping she’s raising her daughter and son to be good people and her nights snuggling with her own romance novel worthy husband. Visit her website at http://MaryEThompson.com to learn more.