How to love Valentine’s Day

So recently, I’ve been thinking about love.

Now, this is so elementary that I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve recently realized two things about it. One: that love is seeing/hearing/understanding someone in ways they feel loved. Two: there’s usually a sacrifice on the giver’s behalf.

When you love someone, it’s not about you. It’s about them.

I mention this because in two days it’s Valentine’s Day. A day that people either hate, put up with or embrace. If we’re lonely, we feel lonelier. If we’re not partnered up and we want to be, we feel the angst even more. If we’re in a non-loving relationship, we really feel the non-love. Alternatively, if we are engaged in and surrounded by healthy, loving relationships, we may be like, “Love isn’t about one day. It’s about everyday! I refuse to give in to the commercialization of love.”

Ugh. I’ve thought and felt all of this and more.

One year, I decided that if I disliked VDay so much, then there were probably others who disliked it even more. So I decided to embrace the essence of the day and use it as an excuse to love on folks in my life, especially those who feel the “pain” of VDay just like I did.

It’s not always easy. I wonder if I’m doing something stupid passing out my little tokens of love. But no one has ever turned them down.

This week, who in your sphere needs to be seen? Especially on Valentine’s Day?

Start with your immediate sphere, the obvious folks. Then, if you’re feeling extra inspired, branch out. Is there someone in your life who may feel the pinch of VDay harder than others? I bet you know someone.

For those on your list, what would make them smile this week?

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Ever hear of Starbucks? Send an electronic gift card good for a latte. No postage required. Walgreens? Get a package of kids VDay cards, some candy, and tape. Assemble and pass out to everyone you meet throughout your day. Love to bake? Get your favorite recipe, wrap individual cookies with a “you’re sweet” post-it note on it and pass ‘em out. Or send an emoticon-laden text message. That’s free.

The point? Showing love requires effort. But that effort, which may not seem like a big deal to you, could alter someone's day, which just might alter their life.

And maybe, because of you, they’ll be inspired to love on someone in their sphere of influence.

Happy, happy Valentine’s Day. You are loved. On Valentine’s Day and all the other days.

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