Today marks a rather special date in this year’s calendar: Valentine’s Day. But this is no ordinary Valentine’s Day. This is a Palindromic Valentine’s Day (almost…)
Yes, it may sound as catastrophic as having our noses rubbed in the smugness of those coupled up beings surrounding us, but this date has a depth to it this year which overrides the somewhat superficiality of the bling which normally accompanies the annual doling out of flowers, chocolates, dinners a deux and tacky, shiny cards.
A palindrome is like the word ABBA or AHA. It is the same written forwards as backwards (but you already knew that). If we apply that to the all concepts of LURVE, to include romance, friendships, families, relationships, we can see that love knows no beginning, knows no end, is the same yesterday as it is today and comes around once in a lifetime. Love is a unique experience between two people. The relationships we have with each friend, brother, sister, colleague is unique. We don’t behave in the same way with each person. It’s a natural human instinct to behave in a different way with each person, allowing certain features of our complex personalities to really show. Why do we do this?
Fear is the opposing factor to love. They fight a battle within each one of us each day. Fear will say that we can’t truly be ourselves with people; that we must only put our best selves forward to allow them us to gain popularity and respect. But it is in destroying the lie of fear that our true selves can really shine through. Our vulnerabilities are our strength. They show we are human. They encourage others around us to open up and share experiences and truth about human survival in the face of exposure when we take a gulp and say how we really felt when something happened to us.
St Valentine was an early Christian martyr, beaten and stoned to death before being beheaded and buried on 14th February 269 AD. The reason? He helped persecuted Christians and married Christian couples!
Love is a risk. And it’s a choice. In putting our faith in love, we are putting our faith in opening ourselves up to change. Love will change us. It will break us. It will build us up and tear us down. It will remove things from us that hold us back. It will empower us to move forwards. It will still the storm raging within. It will give us hope for a peaceful future. It will change perception of fellow humans, workmates, family members, world circumstances, and the concept of our time on earth and our very existence. Love will never end. It will make us lay down our lives for others. It knows no beginning and knows no end. We can’t explain it. We don’t know how it got here or how we deserve it or if it will even be reciprocated when we allow ourselves to express it towards others. But what we do know about love is that it covers a multitude of sins. It allows us to forgive as we have been forgiven and to forge ahead with peace and joy in our hearts as a result. We won’t understand what has just gone on, but we will have the courage and the strength to live to fight another day.