Valentine’s Day

I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day.  Don’t get me wrong, though.  I’m not bitter.  I’m not against love.  I’m definitely not anti-flowers or anti-chocolate.  I just don’t like Valentine’s Day.  I think it’s the pressure of it all.  It feels forced to me.  However, last week I read an article that changed my perspective about Valentine’s Day for the better.  You can read it at Darling Magazine: Love, Actually: Why Love is So Much More than Valentine’s Day.  The author’s point of view is not an incredibly earth-shattering idea, but it touched my mind this week so I thought I would share a few of my thoughts in response.

Swindell suggests that “love manifests in so many ways, too many to count.”  She then proceeds to list a number of ways that love is manifested in daily life, from the parent who calms the crying child in the night, to the roommate who does the dishes for you, to the stranger who offers you a kind word on a difficult day.  Swindell suggests that when we reflect on the ways that we experience love in our lives, Valentine’s Day can actually be a day for thankfulness.  She asks, “who are you grateful for this Valentine’s Day?  What capacity of love have they shown you?”  So, in light of these questions, I’d like to make my own list of ways that I see love in my own life.

Love: unexpected hugs from my niece and nephew.

Love: my mom making me supper after a long day.

Love: the student who offers to help me clean up.

Love: a text message from my friend just to touch base.

Love: an encouragement email from my principal.

There are so many blessings in life that others bestow upon us… sometimes without even realizing.  I think we need to take the time to be thankful for the love that we receive.  Swindell suggests that “we can let [our] thankfulness lead us into being initiators of love.”  Initiators of love.  Sounds like challenge.  So, the question is: what can we do to show love to others this Valentine’s Day, and every day?