I have no idea when and how I came to be a Shiva devotee. I do come from a religious family, one that takes its Gods and Godesses quite seriously but all of them are taken seriously, with no favoritism lol.
Perhaps it was my mother's stories of Shiva being this and that- kind, innocent, easy to please, detached, not concerned with what the world thought of him (which explained his attire), fiercely devoted to his wife- qualities I was in awe of as a child, and still am.
Or perhaps it was his handsome face in the photo in our pooja room lol.
Or perhaps it is because Lord Krishna and Lord Rama never appealed to me much. The former has this playboy image and the latter senselessly left his wife, going by what the 'praja' thought.
My devotion increased manifolds when I came to know that it is Lord Shiva who is the source of all that the Brahmakumaris propound. And it is only poetic justice that Sister 'Shivani' turned out to be the one, of all Brahmakumaris, who would change my way of looking at the world and become my role model.
Of course my idea of what Lord Shiva actually is underwent massive change after following the teachings of the Brahmakumaris, but after reading the first two books of the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi, I realised that I was more comfortable with the older version of things.
So, yes, Shivaratri is an important day in my calender. Even otherwise, it IS a very important day. It is the day when Lord Shiva married Maa Parvati and hence this is the day when the spirit touches the earth. This makes all meditations on this day 100 times more powerful than those done on any other day.
Hence it is impertive that one sets aside a few minutes just for oneself. Slow down the pace of your life today and sit down for a while to give an outlet to the bird singing within you and the spring of bliss inside, and recognise the God within you.
If u r reading this today and still haven't meditated even once, Do IT RIGHT NOW. I am sure you will have good reasons to think of continuing the practice everyday from now on.
May your meditation today grant you greater perspective into your life and with the grace of Lord Shiva, may you move closer to who you actually are- a miniature version of the Lord Himself.