Sunday, February 14, 2010

On Love and Valentine's Day

Amid the flurry of pressure to buy presents, amid the drippy pink and red decorations, amid the healthy protests of those who either have no significant other or cannot be with them on theday, amid all this, it's easy to forget why we celebrate the Feast of Saint Valentine.

All of Saint Valentine's deeds are not known, though we do know that he refused to deny Christ before Emperor Claudius, and also that he healed the daughter of his jailer of blindness and deafness.  Beyond that, his actions are unclear, and when Pope Gelasius set up his festival in 496, he described him as one of the Martyrs "whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God."

But isn't that what Love is?  And I'm not speaking only of romantic love, I'm speaking of love in all its forms.  When we love someone, we gladly make choices and tiny little sacrifices they may never see, but we will know.  Like when you put the forks in the dishwasher head-down even though you know they don't get as clean, because your roommate likes it that way; or you spend 2 hours waiting in line to get a book signed by an author you don't care about because your cousin wants it; or when you painstakingly re-create your mom's favorite meal so she won't know you burned the first batch.

I am blessed to count many people I love dearly today.  People come and go from our lives, but they always leave handprints on our hearts, and we leave our own in return.  In fact, I think St. Paul had some very eloquent things to say on the subject:

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never dies."

And it's true.  I can honestly say there is a piece of my heart that still loves every person who's ever touched it, because love is not finite.  It grows and changes and deepens with each person with whom it is shared.  That is why, despite any shadows on my soul today that love unrequited, lost, and unanswered has left, I can say with a joyful mind and a hopeful heart: Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our Charter

Life can be difficult out there for self-rescuing princesses like us.  Many of us have to balance work and family, friends and lovers, and our need to be feminine with our desire to be respected and never under-estimated.  As we travel through this world of flakey princes, helpless fellow-princesses who don't understand us, and fire-breathing dragons who just want to eat us, let us proudly declare with one voice, our charter and manifesto, written herein:

I am a self-rescuing princess, and can solve my own problems, many of which are of my own creation to begin with.  I take responsibility for my life and my decisions, and the consequences of my actions.

I will seek out and nurture other self-rescuing princesses in my life.  They need love and understanding just as I do, and I will share my wisdom with them while learning from theirs.  Together, we will share our joy.

I will not swoon outwardly, no matter how dashing the smile. 

I will proudly embrace my geeky tendencies, no matter how "unfeminine" or "weird" they are.  Because after all, they are part of my charm.

I will guard my heart for the precious gem it is, and only bestow it upon the truly deserving.  That being said, I will work like I don't need the bitrate, love like I've never set my status to "it's complicated", and dance like nobody's tagging my photo.