“A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love”. Max Muller
Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could. Barbara de Angelis
So what are you doing for Valentine’s Day? This is the mantra we will hear and repeat till the 14th comes and goes. For those of you who have great romantic plans with loved ones, I say go out and enjoy yourself. Carry that feeling over to the rest of the year and to others outside of your inner circle of family and friends. To those of you who don’t celebrate it, for whatever reason, I say bravo. I hope it means you have conquered the commercialization of this formidable emotion we call LOVE. I hope it means your loved ones know, implicitly, that you are the love god/goddess of your household; you don’t need one day of the year to prove it. Awesome!
On the other hand, if you aren’t celebrating because you don’t believe in love or you think it’s overrated, I say… think again! Did you miss the memo on Self-Love? Or were you busy beating yourself up over that long-lost relationship that coulda-woulda-shoulda? Please get off the pity couch and give yourself a hug. If nothing else folks, build your own fantasy valentine and take the day off to pamper yourself and build new castles in the sky. Why must we all celebrate it exactly the same way?
“Where there is love there is life”. Mahatma Gandhi
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. Robert Fulghum
There’s a Story Here: When Will You Marry?
Did you know that the first painting above is by Paul Gauguin and it is called When Will You Marry? Yep. Now think back to Gauguin’s travels and creative expressions. They had to have been inspired by something, someplace in the world, right? In 1891 he traveled to Tahiti for the first time. He imagined that it was a beautiful paradise with gorgeous women dancing with exotic flowers in their hair. Historians shared that he created this fantasy in his head, and chose to believe that the [Tahitian] natives lived “to sing and to make love.” Gauguin was able to finagle large sums of money from his friends, and bring some public attention to the tiny island. But the truth was that the natives of Tahiti had been ravaged by diseases brought to their land by Europeans who created an international, westernized community.
The women Gauguin portrayed were beautiful alright but, they had earthly issues like the rest of us. Gauguin tried to reinvent their lives in a romanticized vision that was of his own making. As Gandhiji said, where there is love there is life, right? So while the gorgeous painting above which, by the way, sold for $300 million dollars in 2015, shows two lovely ladies looking as if they are waiting for their suitors to come and propose; it might all be smoke and mirrors. The back story might have been that When Will You Marry? was more of a swansong warning the ladies to procreate before they perish… The point I’m trying to make is that on fanciful occasions like Valentine’s Day, take charge and celebrate your health and freedoms. Keep in mind that those huge bouquets of expensive flowers delivered to Rosa at the office might have come from Rosa. I applaud her! Treat yourself with love so when love comes calling, you’ll be filled with your own bliss and not be a love vampire. What are you waiting for?
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for February are:
02/02 – Attitude
02/09 – Love
02/16 – Celebration
02/26 – Leadership
03/02 – READ
“We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving”. Friedrich Nietzsche
We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone. Orson Welles
Are you still with me? Paul Tillich, the great philosopher/theologian once said, “The first duty of love is to listen.” If you want love, you’ve got to become loving and it starts with loving YOU. Do you know enough about Valentine’s Day? If you stopped scarfing those truffles for a moment, we can pay homage to the many Christian martyrs named Valentine. Yes, martyrs means they were murdered for various reasons. But the two for whom this venerable holiday is celebrated are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Legend has it that Valentine of Rome was jailed because he performed weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. He was also accused of proselytizing his faith which was a no-go-zone back in the day. Of course, the candy and cookie marketing mavens won’t mention that … they are busy selling you rocks and chocolate blocks. It’s all good but, see the smoke and mirrors for what they are. Feeling better now?
Isn’t it ironic? We turn a martyr moment into a merrymaking party. But that is why we must not allow ourselves to be depressed over this one day show. Keep in mind that the mantra young men and women hear from their families when they reach a certain age is: When Will You Marry? Of course, in this case, it’s not a swan song like it was for the Gauguin ladies. Our parents want us to be happy so there is great romance and fantasy attached to the idea of marrying. Valentine’s Day is a reminder to those of us who said “Stuff It!” that there might be something more to this gifting, eating, loving and merrymaking day. The something more is Love thyself. Still don’t get it? Have no fear! I shared these stories to let you know that behind every downer is a dance. It’s Motivation Monday. Remember? I mean, if you’re alone, what do you do? I say get out there and love the heck out of yourself. Celebrate your version of love. Celebrate your accomplishments, your friendships and your struggles. Love yourself and treat yourself to that piece of jewelry. Go out with friends and celebrate. I know you can do it. You are worthy.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Have a great week!
For More: Women’s Lives & Issues
Positive Motivation Tip: Practice loving yourself every day; especially on Valentine’s Day!
Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for end of November and all of December below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.
Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
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