Tag Archives: Valentine’s day

Feeling…ow wow wow feelings

10 Feb

Did St. Valentine exist? Find out more.

Apparently the origin of Valentine’s day remains obscure to this day. It has been deleted from the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in the General Roman Calendar .

Other than the knowledge of his burial was on the Via Flaminia on the 14th of February, nothing much is known of St. Valentine.

Valentine ’s Day has been conceived very much a day of fanaticized romanticism, a day of sweet words and chocolates tantalizing one’s desire to be utterly spoilt in the mood of love. Love, sweet sweet love. Always forgotten that most chocolates sold in the market has only  a small percentage of pure chocolate, with its milk and sugar content making 70-90% of each delectable bite you take. I had pure chocolate before, and it is bitter to the bittergourd’s evil twin’s core core. An acquired taste they say. The sweet taste of pure chocolate, as what is commercially channeled to the consumers, is really not so delectable after all.

And so it is with love. The bitter truth is that, it is not as sweet as people usually expect it to be. Does it mean it’s just mindless pain and something just plainly horrible? I think I will take an example from something less obvious than bittergourd which has tons of health benefits; known to treat and prevent Malaria, has cardioprotective effect, helps increase insulin sensitivity for diabetes and the list goes on. I guess bittergourd is a good example after all. I’m not exactly sure why but most food that aren’t so enticing to the taste buds are good for you, food which takes a whole new sense of gustation to be digestible.

I’ve been seeing this verse a lot but haven’t seen it in this perspective till now: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might…” from many books of the bible.

I suppose this realisation made me think of what the verse was trying to translate, that Love is NOT JUST a feeling, but it takes all your soul, all your heart and might to love. It takes your mind, heart and will power to direct your feelings, and not the other way around. It takes great courage and commitment to do what is right. As one of our priests always advocates that love is more than butterflies in your stomach,  it takes much more than emotional and “feel good” dependencies. It is true when he says songs like Love is All Around Us, originally sung by the The Troggs, and covered by Wet Wet Wet (Seriously?) that revived this oldie, presents exactly that love is associated only with feelings.

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes.
Well love is all around me, and so the feeling grows.
It´s written on the wind, it´s everywhere I go.
So if you really love me, come on and let it show.

You know I love you, I always will.
My mind’s made up by the way that I feel,
there´s no beginning, there´ll be no end
cause on my love you can depend.

How can you say that I can depend on your love, if your mind is made up by the way that you feel, and that feelings consistently change and emotions irrational most of the time. I didn’t mean to be annoyed by the song but I was almost offended upon reading that verse where he gives an impossible promise in the heat of his feelings. Songs like Colbie Caillat’s Bubbly somehow doesn’t seem as sweet and adorable anymore.

The rain is falling on my window pane
but we are hiding in a safer place
under covers staying safe and warm
you give me feelings that I adore

C: It starts in my toes
make me crinkle my nose
where ever it goes
I always know
that you make me smile 
please stay for a while now
just take your time 
where ever you go

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what Pope John Paul II’s message to the youths on the 19th World Youth Day.

“Dear friends, if you learn to discover Jesus in the Eucharist, you will also know how to discover him in your brothers and sisters, particularly in the very poor. The Eucharist received with love and adored with fervour becomes a school of freedom and charity in order to fulfil the commandment to love. Jesus speaks to us in the wonderful language of the gift of self and of love so great as to give our own life for it. Is that an easy thing? You know very well that it is not! It is not easy to forget our self, but if we do, it draws us away from possessive and narcissistic love and opens us up to the joy of a love that is self-giving. This Eucharistic school of freedom and charity teaches us to overcome superficial emotions in order to be rooted firmly in what is true and good; it frees us from self-attachment in order to open ourselves to others. It teaches us to make the transition from an affective love to an effective love. For love is not merely a feeling; it is an act of will that consists of preferring, in a constant manner, the good of others to the good of oneself: Greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).

We do not eat like kids anymore.

We do not eat like kids anymore

Although feelings do play a role in love to a certain extent, it shouldn’t be the head gear and leading force in it. C.S. Lewis quotes that feelings come and go, and another quot by Thich Nhat Hanh, “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”  Our feelings are temperamental and can change like the weather.

Every unselfish act upon reasonable thought and contemplation of preferring a greater good for another and also yourself despite the pain that one might have to go through in the process of it, is love, although not yet fully divine. A young friend posted on his facebook: “Love, without suffering is but an illusion”. A very interesting thing to think about.

This suffering isn’t masochistic or morbid in anyway (it can seem so short-term) but it’s a joyful suffering. I do not favour bittergourds in anyway but this brings me back to the example of bittergourds vs. diabetic content in comercial chocolates., let’s just call it candy for now. Obviously bittergourd doesn’t taste great but its health benefits are amazing per se, candy on the other hand is more appealing to the tastebuds, or for instance, fast food and instant noodles, they leave you craving for more. In the long run, you know which one gives you smoother skin, cancer-fighting phytos, better digestion, better eye sight, leaner muscles, height, abs, longer legs, longer eyelashes, better metabolism, perfect hair that bounces lightly as the wind brushes through and etc. (I’m not exactly a nutritionist but I would like a vegetable that would give all that goodness to me in one bite).

On a more serious note, such suffering has contemplative hope and sees the greater joy in it rather than a selfish act of satisfying momentarily one’s lust or desires, in consideration of what’s best for both parties. I suppose that’s how it is with singlehood as well, accepting whatever you’re called to and not waiting in desperation for the “right one” to come along. If you constantly are searching in desperation, believe me you’re going to end up pouncing on any “faeces-hole” that comes by, so much blinded by your emotions and waiting for someone to fill that despair in your life. This blog gives a great insight on living a vocation of (1) marriage, and (2) dedicated virginity or celibacy–a committed single state. Check out this site on vocations.

I hope I’ll never be too caught up on the ideals of fantasies, gifts and romanticism (although all these shouldn’t be left out as expression of love has to be active, gifts are nice…hehehe), it’s been tiring to ponder upon the underlying meaning of love, I know that it is not a fleet of feelings, but a long-term commitment with a capital C, (C for Commitment and not Chocolate, chocolate…chocolate…mmmmm) to offer what’s best for your loved ones. Be it if you’ve chosen singlehood or marriage.

Just to digress a little, you can get free Valentine’s Day wallpapers HERE for your desktop,iphone or Androids. 🙂

“For love is not merely a feeling; it is an act of will that consists of preferring, in a constant manner, the good of others to the good of oneself…”- John Paul II
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