A kinder Valentine’s Day

If you don’t already know what I’m about to tell you, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but I’m going to anyway. The root of Valentine’s Day is not romance, it’s violence. Sorry.

Although the exact origin of the holiday is unknown, we can look to ancient Rome for inspiration. During the feast of Lupercalia which took place from Feb. 13-15, drunk and naked Roman (but apparently not romantic) men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with those animal hides. The women actually lined up for this treatment because they believed it would make them fertile (oh, geez)! Later, Emperor Claudius II executed two men by the name of Valentine in two different years in the third century. You can read all about it and more in this NPR story from 2011.

When I learned the dark history of Valentine’s Day, it got me thinking about what is at the root of all the violence we witness today. I believe it’s fear. Fear that manifests more fear. When we don’t embrace the power of love and get caught up in the vibration of fear, we often fight. Sometimes the fighting turns into pure evil, as it has countless times throughout history.

More often though, we experience fear in our day-to-day, small-scale skirmishes: the critical thoughts we have about ourselves, the opinions we hold and express about other people, our me-first inclinations, our desire to be “right.” Is it because we don’t realize we are divine beings living in human bodies who inherently deserve love? Or that we don’t understand that we are energetically all one no matter how separate we think we are?

Living in the vibration of love is not always a rosy place to be. There is still anger. There is still confusion. There is still despair. And, yes, there is still fighting, but it’s a different kind.

Fear seeks an enemy, someone to blame. Love seeks a companion, someone to team up with. Fear seeks a savior outside of ourselves. Love, on the other hand, invites us to tap into the strength within us. In essence, fear fights against while love fights for.

I’m fighting for love this Valentine’s Day. As usual, I’m starting small and trusting that my tiny personal efforts have some effect on the collective.

Here’s one tool I use. When I feel unjustly flogged or maybe even ask for it like those ancient Roman women, I try to remember to repeat mantra from the metta, or loving kindness, meditation: May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe, may you live with ease. I always start with myself (may I be happy, etc.) because you can’t possibly embrace love for others if you don’t fully embrace for yourself. You can then say the mantra for anyone else you want or send it out to the collective.

This mantra has served me anywhere from feeling slightly frustrated to full-on rageful. One reason it works is it takes my awareness away from fighting, which is an expression of separation, and places that awareness on kindness. Oneness. Love.

Perhaps repeating the mantra, or even doing the entire metta meditation, might inspire us to periodically offer small acts of kindness to ourselves or to someone else. And maybe that’s what Valentine’s Day should really be celebrating.

Want to explore some tools for seeing with greater clarity and awakening your inner power? Contact me for intuitive guidance, healing and spiritual mentoring: RememberYourWings.com. 

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Jennifer Reeve

I am  a healing guide, a space holder and a reflector of your sacred light. My aim is to help you connect with your wild, expansive Divine essence so you may freely share your gifts with the world. I offer intuitive readings, non-touch energy healings, spiritual mentoring, embodiment practices, nature connection and sacred ceremony. It would be my honor to guide you toward your expansion.

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