Valentine’s day is near and my guess is, google is being frantically searched like crazy right now. “What is the best Valentines gift for the person you love?”. Meanwhile, fingers hover in suspense for other popular search terms. Such as, “what is the best Valentines gift for him/her?”.
Similarly, tap, tap, goes the keyboard with a click goes the mouse. Other searches continue to look for the best luxury gift for that special person. Links clicked in hope and anticipation, in addition to the excitement of finding the best gift above all.
By the same token, a lover buys the best luxury Valentine’s gift that money can buy in order to explicitly express the value and meaning of their relationship.
The 7+ Types Of Love You’ll Probably Experience In This Life
Culture sells us a notion of romance. Girl meets boy… “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”. “You make me want to be a better man”. “You complete me”. “I need YOU to make ME happy”. After an hour or so everyone lives happily ever after.
However, there is more than just one type of love the chick-flicks, love songs and romance novels would have us believe. In contrast, the ancient Greeks had seven words for love that corresponded to different types of love.
- Eros: romantic, passionate love. …
- Philia: intimate, authentic friendship. …
- Ludus: playful, flirtatious love. …
- Storge: unconditional, familial love. …
- Philautia: self-love. …
- Pragma: committed, companionate love. …
- Agápe: empathetic, universal love…
AGAPE oil on canvas 4’x4’ £6,000
This painting emanates from a deeply personal life experience that resulted in grief and loss. It was raw. Significantly messy. And particularly painful. The experience left me utterly broken and shattered. I am happy to report that I am in a good place now.
On the flip side, this was a gift, because it taught me something so powerful that it informed and strengthened my own life. This experience revealed the surprising depths of my own humility, integrity and the ability to endure calamity and hardship without playing the victim card. Even more surprisingly to me, is the beauty I discovered in one’s own brokenness as I set about healing and rebuilding.
My true inspiration comes from reflecting on all the good that has overcome what was meant for bad. People often need metaphors and objects to understand the art of healing. In repairing things that have broken, we actually create something more unique, beautiful and resilient.
I am thankful that I am able to have access to these positive emotions now and refer to them as the source of my inspiration to create art.
The characteristics of Love often recited at Weddings instructs the Christian to:
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity”.Colossians 3:12-14
So, what is the best Valentines gift for the person you love?
Agápe: Love of the soul probably the best Valentine’s gift of all
Agape love is selfless love, the love for humanity. It is the closest to unconditional love. The love you give without expecting anything in return reflected in all charitable acts. It is the compassionate love that makes us empathise with, help and connect to people we don’t know.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.John 15:13
Agape love is sacrificial, full of mercy and amazing grace. In conclusion, it is best summed up in John 3:16, “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.
So what is the greatest Valentines gift for the person you love? It is a priceless gift. I think the potential lies within in us all to humble ourselves and set aside our selfish desires and lay down our lives for one another every single day.
Osian Gwent © copyright all rights reserved 2021