If you’ve noticed the name of this blog…
you’ll understand why this month, with Valentine’s Day, is of special interest to me.
I Goggled Valentine’s Day & discovered that this holiday is simply all over the place!
- it’s religious
- it’s not religious
- it’s in February
- it’s not in February
- it’s for lovers
- it’s not for lovers
- it’s a Hallmark creation
- it’s not a Hallmark creation
Most sources confirm that Valentine’s Day did NOT start as a day for lovers. In fact, it didn’t start out to be about chocolate, hearts & flowers or romantic love at all.
So let’s talk about love…
Did you know that the Greek culture has several words for love to distinguish between it’s different forms?
Eros – is named after the Greek god of fertility & represents the idea of sexual passion & desire. Interestingly, Eros used to be viewed as a dangerous form of love that could possess you.
Philia – is friendship. It’s all about loyalty, considering someone else first, & sharing your emotions.
Storge – embodies the love between parents & their children.
Ludus – refers to the affection between children or young lovers…flirting & teasing. In adults it looks like laughing or bantering & dancing.
Pragma – is about making a relationship work over a long period of time, showing patience & tolerance & making compromises. It’s not so much about “falling in love” as it is about “standing in love”.
Philautia- is self-love. There are two types. One is the unhealthy narcissism, where you become self-obsessed & focus only on personal fame & fortune. The healthy version, philautia, enhances your capacity to love. It speaks to the notion that you cannot love another if you do not first love yourself.
Agape – is selfless love. This is a love that you extend to all people. It’s the highest form of love & is reflected in the world’s major religions.
Valentine’s Day actually started out as agape, selfless acts performed for others. There are many different versions of the how & the who but they all contain the element of selfless love.
So here’s my thought…maybe this year you could incorporate at bit of agape in your Valentine’s Day celebration. The day can certainly celebrate our friends & lovers but we have time now to think of someone we may not normally think of & maybe do something nice for them too.
Me…I’m off to practice some healthy philautia!!!