Love

Valentines day is upon us. For those of us who have lost a loved one by death or a relationship ending, this can be a very difficult time. Even if you never really put much emphasis on Valentines day before, this day that celebrates couples and love can trigger feelings of deep sorrow and loneliness.

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According to Wikipedia, Love encompasses a variety of different emotional and mental states, typically strongly and positively experienced, ranging from the deepest interpersonal affection to the simplest pleasure.

Valentines day sharpen your emotions of sadness, longing for the other person and feeling alone. It reminds us of the love we had with the other person and will not experience again. Or can we?

My husband has been gone for 12 years. In the early years I was so sad and longed to have him back. I missed everything about him. We were an affectionate couple who would hug and kiss and say I love you all through out the day. It did not matter where he was or who was around. He did not play the macho man and say “me too” over the phone. No he said it, “I love you”.  Every time we encountered each other we would stop to hug and kiss. Our son once made a comment, “eewww, you always hug and kiss each other”.

My husband would also pick out the best cards with loving sentiments. I treasured his cards , notes and words of love. My love language is words of encouragement followed by physical touch. I was very blessed to have such a good marriage and I miss having my husband physically with me every day.

After some time had passed and the fog of grief became lighter, I realized that my husband would always be with me. He lived in my heart. All the memories we made, love we felt for one another and experiences we shared live on in my heart. I will always have him with me.

Not everyone had a good marriage. Some of you may have unresolved issues with your deceased loved one. Or maybe you are reading this and you have been through a divorce or break up. Therefore Valentines day represents a more painful, bitter set of emotions. At some point we will discuss unresolved issues but this week we want to celebrate love.

So then how can Valentines day be more tolerable in these circumstances? By focusing on other loving relationships in your life. Lets look at the different types of love. Below are six Ancient Greek words for love and the meaning from Wikipedia:

Agape (Ancient Greek ἀγάπηagápē) is a GrecoChristian term referring to love, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man and of man for God”

Eros (/ˈɪrɒs/ or /ˈɛrɒs/Ancient Greekἔρως érōs “love” or “desire”) is a Greco-Christian terms which can be rendered into English as “love“.  Eros refers to “passionate love” or romantic love

Philia (/ˈfɪljə/ or /ˈfɪliə/Ancient Greekφιλία), often translated “brotherly love”  In Aristotle‘s Nicomachean Ethics, philia is usually translated as “friendship” or affection.[1]

Platonic love (often lower-cased as platonic[1]) is a term used for a type of love that is non-sexual. With genuine platonic love, the beautiful or lovely other person inspires the mind and the soul and directs one’s attention to spiritual things.

Storge (/ˈstɔːrɡɪ/,[1] from the Ancient Greek word στοργή storgē[2]) or familial love refers to natural or instinctual affection,[1][3] such as the love of a parent towards offspring and vice versa.

Xenia (Greekξενίαtranslit. xenía, meaning “guest-friendship”) is the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home and/or associates of the person bestowing guest-friendship

As we look over that list, we realize that we can share love in many different ways. We can love God and experience His love for us, John 3:16 and 1 John 4:19. We can celebrate love for our children, siblings and friends by sharing a meal, treats and/or little tokens and cards. We can also celebrated our love for our fellow man with warm gestures. A smile, a kind word and a helping hand expresses loving kindness.

This Valentines day celebrate the different types of love in your life. Celebrate family, friends and the love of humanity. Celebrate the love you shared with your loved.

Next week we will celebrate self love.

As always I welcome your feedback and questions. You can leave them in the comments below.

Remember that you are not alone, I am here to walk along side of you.

Ethel

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References

    1. Jump up^ Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary (1998) + Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary(2000)
    2. Jump up^ “Love – Definition of love by Merriam-Webster”merriam-webster.com.
    3. Jump up^ Fromm, Erich; The Art of Loving, Harper Perennial (1956), Original English Version, ISBN 978-0-06-095828-2

 

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