"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
I have a bone to pick today. Sometimes I think this holiday has stripped us of knowing what love really is. Valentine’s Day can bog us down with the message that we need a significant other to be significant. And lovers must give extravagant gifts in celebration. Its a bunch of rot. Love is so much more than this holiday gives it credit for.
I don’t want the kind of love that comes from a department store card, a jewelry store, or a box of chocolates. I don’t want the kind of love that requires grand gestures, perfect sunsets, or sandy beaches. I don’t want drug store love, bottled and sold as a farce of the real deal. I don’t want love that is obligatory.
I want love that wears worn work boots, love that labors daily to show itself. I want a love that washes the dishes, changes the oil, and bathes the dog. I want love that brings flowers home for no reason, that comes homes with a kiss on the forehead, asks how my day was, and really listens to the answer.
I want love that exists not merely because of a feeling, but because of daily choice and renewed commitment. I want love that lives out respect, patience, hope, kindness, gentleness, overcomes adversity. Courageous, honest, and open love.
I want love that is a phone call from far away, love that celebrates the joys, and weeps with me in hardship. I want love that chooses the interests of others above itself and love that is faithful and loyal in all things.
You can’t get it from a store and you can’t conjure it from an emotion. But with nurturing, commitment, and follow-through it will last through the ages.
I want to experience this love, but more importantly, I want to BE this love to others. It’s a choice I will make with each person I encounter to varying degrees. And my goal is to live it and celebrate it each day – in my marriage, in my friendships, in my family relationships.
Today can be a drag when you don’t think you have someone to celebrate with (I get that, I’ve been there). Instead of letting it bog you down, I encourage you to pour out your love into the people around you. It doesn’t take flowers, chocolates, or cards. Happy Valentine’s Day, guys. Let’s go out and love courageously.