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The Greatest Love of All

valentines-day

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone and now we are back to being our old grumpy selves…or is that just me. Here in Philadelphia, we are still doing our best to survive the cold and deal with the constant snow and ice that keeps getting thrown our way. We are looking forward to Spring which is about five weeks away, but for the time being, we are dealing with the present and making the most of it. Or is that just me…

There are a lot of people out there that either are indifferent, or despise Valentine's day.  They could be bitter, cynical, or consider it a waste of time or money, but I am not one of those people.  I love celebrating love. Every day of course is when we have to celebrate it, but i consider Valentine's day a great day to reflect on the true meaning of it.

Valentine’s Day was special for me this year. My boyfriend showed up to my house with a dozen roses and a container filled with take-out sushi. He knows the way to my heart!

Valentine’s day however was not always about having a significant other for me. It is a holiday that I have loved since I was a little girl. I loved signing the Valentine’s Day cards for every kid in my class, I loved seeing the decoration hearts taped to the windows of my neighbors’ homes and I especially loved getting a box of chocolates from my mother every year.

My mother liked to honor Valentine’s Day as much as I did even though she grew up in Greece where hallmark holidays such as this did not exist. But she did not find a reason to dismiss it. Why do so? It’s about love, any kind of love, and for her, it was about love for me and my sister and for anything sweet. One year, she even bought a heart shaped cake pan at the super market. “Look!” She said to me when she held the cake pan up during one of our grocery trips, “I can make you and Stephanie a heart shaped cake for Valentine’s Day!” She was more excited about baking the cake and eating it afterwards, but it was the coming of Valentine’s day that brought her to that moment in the supermarket, holding up the cake pan to her twelve year old me with a smile on her face.

The other favorite Valentine’s Day memory I have of my mother was while I was in college. I was in my apartment cramming for an exam when I heard the doorbell ring. I open the door to find my mother holding a vase full of flowers. “Happy Valentine’s Day!” she said as she handed them over. She then walked away quickly telling me she didn’t want to keep me from studying. The flowers were a comfort over the next few days as I was stressing about my mid-term exams. My mother did and still does sweet things for me like that all the time, but associating those flowers showing up at my door personally being delivered personally by her, makes it easier for me to remember that specific moment when I associate it with Valentine’s day.

As I got older and my friends were old enough to have serious boyfriends that took them out to dinner that day, my single friends and I still celebrated. We made each other our Valentine and made sure to have a good time.

Then there were the Valentine’s Day’s when not even my single friends were available, I wasn’t up to traveling to seeing my family and I was by myself. There were many years when I just forgot that the day existed and just busied myself with whatever needed to be done at that time. But a few years ago, I chose not to do that anymore and I have been a lot happier since I made that decision, because I realized that I will always need the day to remind me to stop and smell the roses. Literal or symbolic roses.

There are so many Valentine’s Day adversaries out there. Everybody has a right to their opinion, and I’m sticking to mine. Yes, I know that it’s not a sacred holiday, but it’s sacred to me. Yes I know that we need to show our love every day, not just on Valentine’s Day, and I honor love every day too. The only difference on Valentine’s Day is that Hallmark makes special cards that will not be made any other day. Supermarkets are not always overstocked with pink, red, and white roses. Even if they did, it wouldn’t be as special anymore. And what’s wrong with having a special day like that?

Valentine’s Day for me was not always about romantic love. I look forward to finding another occasion to having a romantic dinner with my boyfriend, I look forward to receiving flowers from him that day or from my mother. Though I also love finding an excuse to hang out with my friends who don’t want to spend the day by themselves. I love wishing my niece and nephew a Happy Valentine’s Day via text and receiving their smiley’s in return.

The love that I want to focus on though, the greatest love of all, as the late Whitney Houston sang about one time, is the love we have for ourselves. I honor that kind of love on Valentine’s Day as well as every day of the year and that is what we need to honor the most.

I came across a post from the Center of Disease Control titled “Ten Ways to Love Your Health on Valentine’s Day”. I found it to be a good article and an important one to share: http://www.cdc.gov/features/valentine/http://www.cdc.gov/features/valentine/

However, there’s more to loving your health than preventing disease. All the suggestions that were made are critical and necessary and I highly recommend each and every one of them, but I also want to take loving yourself even further that that. Loving yourself means also respecting yourself, your body and soul. Don’t abuse yourself and don’t allow others to abuse you or get you down. Love is healing and it cannot heal unless you let it in and allow it to work its magic. You have to also believe in that magic. Love is also about giving and it is possible to be selfish and giving as well. If you cannot love and nurture yourself, you will not be in the best position to give to others. Love doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t come in food or any other substance. It is a force, it is energy and it is capable of accomplishing things more than you can ever imagine.

I wish you Zoe Angels a Happy Valentine’s Day and I’m sending out to you all warm hugs and love. Take the time to smell the roses and give yourself not a little, but a lot of love. This love will make you alluring and a powerful energetic force yourself. Then send love out to the world and love will be showered back to you in many different ways.

Stay healthy and alluring!

Zoe

 

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