“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving but this,
in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.”
~ Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets
It’s Valentine’s Day! It’s Valentine’s Day! It’s Valentine’s Day!
I know, I know, some of you will be scowling ferociously at me at this point, wondering how you can go about shoving a Valentine’s Day card in my gob. BUT, before you do, hear me out.
I know that Valentine’s Day is a contentious issue. For a lot of people it is an overpriced, overinflated, superfluous waste of time designed only to empty our pockets of cash and fill our hearts with guilt. And to a certain extent I agree: I don’t go in for dinner a deux that is three times the price of a normal meal or a bunch of flowers with a price tag that makes you choke either. But the point I want to make isn’t about being guilted into a credit card shopping spree, it’s that I don’t think this is the full story.
We can agree that it is a day where we are coerced into thinking about our loved one, but really, is that so bad? In the daily beat of routine and humdrum, don’t we forget to actually stop, look around us and appreciate who we are with or who we love? And is giving them a card or some beautiful flowers really such a bad thing? It’s not even about spending money – nicking a flower from a garden and drawing a heart on a Post-It note is just as valid. (Not that I’m condoning theft, just to be clear: “No Mr Policeman, I did not say it was OK for everyone to rip out the shrubbery from Mrs Mop’s garden on Valentine’s Day, honest.”)
What I’m trying to say is that it’s actually just about saying something aloud that we may think but forget to show.
“Yes, but we can do that any time of year!” I hear you cry.
Absolutely, of course you can. But do you? That. Is. The. Question. Do you actually spend a day focused on how you appreciate and love your partner, and not only that, but actually do something to show it? You may well have the intention of doing so but blink-and-you-realise-that-another-year-has-passed-you-by without so much as a sniff of a rose.
Not convinced yet? Well stay with me, because there is an even better reason for paying attention to Valentine’s Day. (I would shorten it to VD day, only …) Think about this, because on the same day of the year all of us are persuaded to direct our thoughts to love, even if only fleetingly as we do our best to ignore it, then that is the vibe we create all around us. And why do I say this? Well because:
What We Think, We Give Out
We have all experienced walking into a room where a ferocious argument has just taken place, and, however convincing the smiles plastered on the faces of the warring factions are, without a word spoken we know that something negative has gone on, just by the ‘feel’ of it. This is because the angry thoughts and words have influenced the atmosphere in the room to the extent that we can feel it as soon as we walk in.
This is equally true when on a bigger scale – if you wandered down a city street and inadvertently found yourself smack bang in the middle of a riot, you would have felt the aggression long before you saw anything or knew what was happening. Swap this for a seat at a Take That/Celine Dion/Black Sabbath gig [delete as applicable] with thousands of people all loving and singing the same song, and boy would you feeeeeel the love. Even if you hated the band, were blindfolded, had wads of toilet roll thrust in your ears and were counting the minutes ’til you could leave, you would still ‘feel’ the positive energy being created; it would be unavoidable.
Do I have any scientific basis for these assertions? Er, that would be a no? But fiver says you can all think of an example where you have experienced it for yourself.
So in a nutshell, it’s the collective thoughts of anger that produce the negative atmosphere, and the collective thoughts of love that produce the opposite, meaning that the collective love being felt/talked about/seen on Valentine’s Day sends oodles of loveliness out into the world. Lovely job.
So on Valentine’s Day this year, if you do nothing else, throw your arms around your loved one in a gigantic mega hug and tell them you love them and make sure they know. In fact, just throw your guns round everyone – brothers, sisters, mums, dads, kids, neighbours, postmen etc. etc. and while you’re at it, know that you are making a bigger difference to our world than you realise.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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Take a look here to find out how to get one.