True Love

valentine

{Via}

Valentines Day… It’s one of those holidays that I have always simultaneously anticipated and a little bit dreaded.

Throughout my many single years, it seemed to be sad reminder of my singleness. It felt as if the holiday was created to convince me that I needed to find that person who would make me feel loved and cherished. And since I hadn’t yet, I questioned my lovability.

When I met my husband and started celebrating Valentine’s Day with someone I loved, I thought I was set – all my girlhood dreams of a romantic rose-filled holiday would be fulfilled. And though my admittedly non-romantic husband has tried his hardest and created some beautiful Valentine’s memories; if I’m being completely honest, almost every Valentine’s Day has carried with it a bit of a letdown.

Then I came to realize something. The problem wasn’t that I was single, the problem isn’t that my husband is not romantic enough; the problem is me. I set unreachable expectations about this day and how and when love should be felt or displayed. I make it all about myself. And in doing so, I kick to the curb everything that this holiday is supposed to be about – giving love.

As I thought about and looked into it further, I discovered that Valentine’s Day was not originally about flowers and chocolate and hearts. Though there are mixed accounts of the multiple “Valentines” for whom the holiday is named, one thing resonates through all the legends of Saint Valentine – bold and selfless love. There was the Valentine who martyred himself to save fellow believers and the Valentine who healed his jailer’s daughter just before his execution. These stories speak not of romantic love, but of a greater love that serves others, even under the most difficult of circumstances, without asking for anything in return.

So maybe we’ve been viewing Valentine’s Day all wrong. I’ve come to believe that the greatest love is love given, not love received. Isn’t it better to measure our worth not by how many dozens of roses we get on one day, but by how much love we pour out into the world everyday?

van gogh

– Vincent Van Gogh {Via}

So my challenge for this Valentine’s Day is to give love to everyone in every way I can. Sure my husband deserves my love (and a few extra smooches), but so do my family, my friends, myself, and all the wonderful strangers I encounter.

Here’s wishing you a Valentine’s Day filled with love in all forms. Sending so much love to you dear friends on this and every day!

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