February 14 – It's a day of flowers, chocolate, hearts and proclamations of romantic love.
On this day we commemorate St. Valentine as the patron saint of lovers.
Valentine earned this elevated standing with the greatest of sacrifices, his life. He chose to marry Christian couples against the edicts of the Roman Emperor, Claudius II.
Valentine In The Year 270 AD
The origins of St. Valentine are unclear, but it is thought he was executed on February 14 around the year 270. While imprisoned and awaiting execution, he befriended the jailer and his daughter who was beautiful and blind. St. Valentine performed a miracle and restored her sight.
Legend tells us that on the eve of his death, he penned a farewell note to the jailer's daughter and signed it...
This was the very first Valentine.
St. Valentine is also the patron saint of bees and beekeepers. (Image above from Ithelda.) That makes sense if we're talking about the birds and the bees, but I think it's also due to the sweet nectar of honey. It's certainly a labor of love by our sweet bees.
Hearts Are For Everyone
Long ago, I abandoned the notion that love only exists between a romantic couple. While it's wonderful to celebrate romance, love is so much bigger.
Love takes many expressions and colorful hues.
As we get older, our lives reflect the expansion of this love. We start with love of only our nuclear family and then we often include someone else as a life partner. Children, relatives and in-laws are added into the mix.
Our Love Becomes Wider
Time passes and cycles shift. Children grow up and leave the house. Our love stretches out into wider circles, perhaps towards grandchildren and into the greater community. Our love expands like ever-widening ripples on a pond.
For the meditator, the journey shifts when love moves past a state of doing and becomes a state of being. In my post, The Winding Road of Life, I write about moving beyond the idea of "I love you" and into the discovery of simply being in a state of love.
You move past the idea of only loving someone. You begin to love nature and animals, ideals and causes.
You move past exclusive love and widen your heart into inclusive love. A love that sees past your inner circle and embraces it all.
Expanding Our Hearts
In The New Expanded Reference Manual of The Radiance Technique®, Authentic Reiki®, Third Edition by Dr. Barbara Ray, Ph.D. — the entry on LOVE is found on page 144:
LOVE — Has the aspect of human or brotherly love which is referred to as love of the outer heart - love with an object. This kind of love is the warm feeling of affection felt or sensed from the chest/heart area, love from the lower planes. This kind of love is different from the love known as divine, spiritual, universal, Radiant Love that simply IS without external, outer stimulus or object.
You can use The Radiance Technique® for expansion of both of these kinds of love by focusing for extended times as a meditation the hands-on Front Positions #1 and #3; also Head Positions #2 and #3 for deeper insights into the vibration of Real Love.
In this text, Dr. Ray writes you can expand "both of these kinds of love" – neither excludes the other, we embrace it all. Our journey with our human heart is a part of our spiritual journey. All along the way, we learn more about real love.
Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can use their TRT® hands-on to expand their awareness of love in their meditations. One of the great aspects of TRT® is that you can use it in any situation. Even when you're not meditating – you still benefit from the supportive, loving energy.
Celebrate Heart Day
If we see St. Valentine's Day as more than romantic love, we enjoy it as one day of the year when we celebrate hearts of all kinds.
As in the quote from Mother Teresa, you are invited to burn with love not only for your heart throb, but for your family and community, your ideals, and the world at large.
What a day to celebrate our joyful hearts burning with love.