I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. I love the idea of a special day each year to commemorate and celebrate love, but I hate the fact that somewhere along the way Valentine’s Day has become all about the hype and very little about the love.
Right after Christmas the advertising monster kicks into high gear.
“Every kiss begins with Kay.” (Kay Jewelers that is)
“A rose is only a rose…until you give it away.”
“All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!”
“When you care enough to send the very best.”
Most of the ads imply that you can kiss love goodbye unless jewelry, chocolate, flowers and poetry are given (by the men, of course). The expectations are enormous and the disappointments are probably bigger. Instead of creating an opportunity to affirm our loved ones, Valentine’s Day often creates an atmosphere of dissatisfaction.
My husband rants about the ads all the time. For him, they can be summed up as, “Hey guys! Better not mess this one up! Again!”
What is Love?
Your definition of love inspires the way that you give and receive this gift.
According to Google, the question “what is love?” was the highest-ranked query in 2012. Webster’s dictionary defines love as: a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.
Despite this definition, I am convinced that love is not simply a feeling. Love is a choice. Love is sacrifice. Love is selfless. Love is inherently free.
While Valentine’s Day can be an avenue to express your love, it certainly isn’t the most effective. Take some time to think back on some of the greatest expressions of love that you have ever received. Were they demanded? Did you compel the other person to offer their love? Or did they give their gift of love freely—with no strings attached?
Michael and I will probably exchange a card or letter for Valentine’s Day. We might even make it a point to go on a date. But I’m confident that celebrating one day won’t mean as much as the little things he’s done for me lately.
The Little Things…
Sacrificing his weekends to help me with the technical aspects of my blog.
Encouraging me to pursue my dreams.
The unexpected bouquet of flowers and card to celebrate my credentialing interview.
Attending multiple events that he would otherwise not attend. (A true sacrifice for my sweet introverted husband!)
A lingering hug when I’ve had a hard day.
The little things make life sparkle. They make life sweet. They make life fragrant. They make life beautiful. Layer upon layer, these simple choices inspire true love to grow. I’ll pick that over the trappings of Valentine’s Day—today and every day. Won’t you?
Do you have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day? What are the little things that inspire you to love?
Special Note: If you enjoyed today’s blog, would you share it with your friends?