Some thoughts on love, Valentine’s Day and the life you choose to live.
(Written on Valentine’s Day, while consuming an entire box of chocolates I gave to myself.)
My son said to me this morning that this is a stupid holiday, made up by Hallmark, which leaves people feeling bad. I asked him if he thought that was more reason to share and show love to the people he cared about?
He left for school, knowing how loved he is by his family and friends and I suspect his girlfriend might find a way to tell him today. He knows he is loved because he is told several times a day and showed by actions that he understands to translate to mean the same.
So, I sat down with my coffee after he left for the bus and thought about Valentine’s Day. He sounded like many people I have known who are upset by Hallmark and say they don’t need to be told by a card company to say I love you.
While scanning Facebook updates to see what happened with my friends in other time zones while I was sleeping, I saw a tweet by my childhood friend Josh, that caused me to pause and think.
@joshmedia: “So what if its Christian origins have been co-opted by Hallmark, Valentine’s Day is an effing great excuse to show love to your people.”
Yes, the card companies, candy companies and florists make a boat load of cash. Lingerie sales are always soaring this time of year. That being said, not everyone lives their life telling the people they love, “I love you” every day, or even routinely, or for that matter, at all; some of the many reasons why, I suspect, are the following: not accustomed to saying it, caught up in the modern pace, the presumption that the other people already know this or even feeling that I love you may not mean much any longer.
All the commercialism aside, I think Josh has the right spirit about Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it, some people need the reminder to say it, some people wouldn’t find the words to say it without the card being written for them and some people just love the extra excuse to say it with all the silly cards, candy and otherwise scarce red and pink, well, everything that you can find thanks to Hallmark making this a marketing extravaganza.
I am one of the latter. Yes, it is goofy and in my case, completely unnecessary, because I always say it, and it’s fun to give—for me. I don’t think Valentine’s Day is about having a partner or feeling bad if you do not. It is a universal opportunity to say I love you. As Josh said, “a great excuse to show love to your people.” All your people.
The life you choose to live
No, I don’t need Hallmark to remind me to say I love you. It is just fun. Plain and simple. My poor boyfriend was smothered in eight or so Valentine’s this year. He’ll recover, I trust.
The thing is, and there is always a thing. I choose to live my life being open. Talking about things, scary or not, unattractive or not, vulnerable or not. I choose to tell the people I love, that I do love them. These are conscious choices. I believe I choose to love.
What I have learned in my 47 years (wait, what?) is that I am happier when I know my people know they are loved. I am happier when I share what I am feeling with those close to me and I find I put more loving energy into the universe by doing so. The more we show love—to everyone—the more love comes back into our worlds. The more love that comes back to us, the fuller our lives are.
It’s all a choice. Yes, Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark home run, but it is also a gentle reminder (or a pummeling over the head) that it is a really powerful thing to say—I love you—whether you hear it in return or not.
Deb Caplin is an “entrepreneur.” Your guess of what that means is as good as hers. A Miami native, deeply unable to shake her love of all teams Miami and University of Florida—go Gators! Deb has lived in Boulder for 11 years, where she is currently working on the reinvention of her lingerie business: The T*Bar 3.0. She not only thinks that everyone deserves hot lingerie, but believes deeply in the power of women, feels it’s perfectly okay to carry a cape in your purse and maintains that Scorpios are a grossly misunderstood bunch. “Passionate, dynamic and loyal,” Deb writes, “we are an emotional check-in for the rest of the planet.” When she’s not hiking, skiing or fishing, Deb is indulging in a not-so-secret love affair with her road bike. You can follow Deb or the progress of The T*Bar and upcoming Talk project or just go find her at Snooze eating pancakes most mornings.
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Editor: Edith Lazenby & Brianna Bemel