It was Oscar Wilde who said that “To define is to limit,” and we all know it’s true.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I will not try to define love — although I have tried before. Instead, I’ll speak of its importance — and it’s limitlessness.
I think it’s a testimony to love, not that love needs my testimony, that despite all the heartbreak I have experienced in this life, I remain able to say with a true and open heart that nothing is more important than love.
Nothing in this world is more important than love. Secretly knowing the importance of love, but often feeling unworthy or incapable of love, we circle around it, instead of planting our feet and radiating it. The truth that somehow escapes us is that love is limitless — it is, happily, an unlimited and renewable resource to us all.
Some people try to tell me that hate, too, is unlimited and renewable, but I think hate is a form of love — a disappointed and fearful misunderstanding about the limitlessness and accessibility of love.
If you’re like me, you have no special someone to love this Valentine’s Day. If you are like me, the people you love most are with their father this Valentine’s Day and so you will spend it either alone or maybe with a friend, not exactly ignoring, but not really celebrating it, either.
I do not want to belittle Valentine’s Day, especially because it might sound like sour grapes, but it is true that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday, promoted by commercial forces to further the interests of capitalism. Valentine’s Day defines love in a specific way, and thus limits it. These limits, or boundaries, put some of us on the right side of love, and some of on the wrong side, which leads to sorrow and disappointment. Oscar Wilde said:
It takes a great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.
Between the capitalism and our longing for love, we, if we are coupled, expect great things from Valentine’s Day, or if we are single, we may feel underlying regret that we are no one’s Valentine. My only solution is to love as wholly as I can.
So, dear, if you are a lonely heart this Valentine’s Day, know that I stand for you. And, if you are a disappointed Valentine, heed this final bit of Wilde wisdom:
Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.