Saint Valentine is a legend. I mean, consider the fact he was buried in 270 A.D. The story of Saint Valentine reads like a hero’s story. There are three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. In one legend, Saint Valentine was a priest who, after Emperor Claudius II declared single men were better soldiers than married ones, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine disagreed with this injustice and continued to marry young lovers in secret. When the secret was out, he was put to death. There was another Saint Valentine who was a bishop. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II. There’s also another story that Valentine helped Christians escape the harsh Roman prisons. Once imprisoned himself, he fell in love with the jailor’s daughter who had visited him. Before his death, the legend is that he wrote her a letter and signed “From your Valentine.” Regardless of which of the three Saint Valentine stories or legends you believe, it doesn’t change that he became one of the most popular saints in England and France. And doesn’t change that, centuries later, the romanticism of any one of their heroism sparks the hearts of many today.
Isn’t it romantic, though, to have someone passionately fight for the injustice of others? Isn’t it romantic how all of these Saints were self-sacrificing and ultimately gave their lives for the sake of others? That’s a special kind of love. I suppose you could say it’s the love of humankind.
What has been lost on Valentine’s Day since that time? It’s become so commercialized since that time, and, to be honest, I kind of love those Valentine stories more than the love interest stories we see depicted in society today.
We all love a good hero’s journey story. There is drama, hardship, or challenge, and then the comeback storyline. The main character triumphs over their own challenges and inspires others. I love stories like these and have heard them repeatedly when conversing with guests for my podcast.
What do stories like these have to do with Valentine’s Day? People in these stories became their own heroes. They had enough love for themselves to create the changes they needed to make. What do you think happens when people turn the love to others toward themselves? And, I’m not talking ego-type love or vanity. I’m talking, life has beaten you down, you’ve had enough, and you want to become the best version of yourself, so you take action to do that. You love yourself enough to invest time, money, and resources into yourself. This is radical self-love to me.
So, this Valentine’s Day, like me, you’re not living in Roman times and aren’t facing possible beheading for being self-sacrificing for the love of humankind. But, you may be in a healthy, loving relationship. And, maybe you have the time, money, resources, or ability to give back to humankind in other ways. We have the ability to bring about what Saint Valentine (pick any of the three) made Valentine’s Day out to be – a day to be of service in the name of the love of humankind.
If you find yourself down in the dumps this Valentine’s Day, consider how good it would feel to do something to give back to humankind in a way only you can. Fill your own heart with the love you may be missing from someone else by giving to others or giving that love to yourself. You can declare this Valentine’s Day as a “Self-Love Day.” By the way, this month, I have a theme for my newsletter, and it’s all about self-love. So far, I’ve talked about the power of our breath and challenging ourselves. Curious what those topics have to do with self-love? Sign up here and, I’ll include the links to the previous editions in this coming week’s newsletter, which will be all about boundaries. 😉
What will you do this Valentine’s Day? Make it about the love of humankind or radical self-love? I’m all for both, and there’s no right or wrong. Depending on our circumstances and experiences (for example, this is your first Valentine’s Day without your spouse who died), a small act of self-love may be all you can muster. And, that’s okay. You don’t need anyone’s permission to spend this Valentine’s Day how you please. Know you’re not alone, though, and perhaps someone you know who may also be alone could use some company, too? And, I would bet Saint Valentine would smile upon you for extending your hand to another hurting heart this Valentine’s Day. ❤
P.S. Did you know? If you’ve experienced divorce or estrangement and are ready to work through that relationship, the grief recovery method isn’t just for grievers grieving someone who has died. In fact, we are often emotionally incomplete with those who are living. If you’re ready to move beyond that relationship, get in touch at [email protected] ❤
Get In-The-Know & Receive
Join The Unleashed Letters and receive weekly inspiration + exclusive content not shared anywhere else. You'll also be the first-to-know of upcoming dates/times of Grief Recovery Programs and informational talks.