I had intended this post to start as a testament to the over-commercialized day of love that is Valentine’s Day. In that version of this day, we are guilted, pressured and prodded into expressing our love. I was going to write about how the day once reserved for people in romantic relationships (or expressing their desire to be) had blown up into a day when cards and gifts had to be bought for everyone we know who may get offended at not being considered “important enough” to be our Valentine.
Then my youngest daughter did something that changed my mind. I took her to a store so she could buy gifts for her best friend.
“You know Valentines Day used to be for people in love. Now, it seems we have to get parents, friends, children, and even coworkers at least a card. It’s crazy,” I said to her.
She explained to me that her friend felt lonely on this day because she didn’t have a boyfriend. “Ah, the needs of youth,” I thought to myself, fully realizing that many of us never grow out of it.
She continued to explain that the gifts and card she was getting her best friend was to cheer her up and to brighten up her day. My daughter was, in fact, reminding me of why this day mattered.
I do, as I believe we all do to some level, sometimes get so caught up in my day that I forget to express the care and love I have for those around me. Sometimes my mind so absorbs my attention that I have little to offer those who deserve it. Sometimes I just am so human that my frailties keep me from that pulsing light within me dying to get out.
Perhaps, then, having one day whose soul purpose is to set an intention of doing all those things that may get lost on “normal” days isn’t such a bad idea. While I am not a big fan of the commercialization of such a day, I do see its value in our finding ways to express this love and care to those we feel it for. That doesn’t necessarily mean taking the easy way out and getting a card. Sometimes it means doing something special. A kiss. A note. Or just being together and sharing an intimacy that unites the soul and heart in one, awesome purpose.
I had gotten my daughter a stuff animal. I fell in love with its eyes. They were big and round and soft, and I knew she’d like it. I walked into her bedroom this morning and gave it to her.
“Hey. I saw this and thought of you. I thought you’d like it. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Her smile was enough for me. Truly, she never had to say thank you or give me anything in return. Her smile was the gift, and the words she said afterward (that are between her and me) were just icing on the cake.
I have spent many Valentine’s Days alone. I’ve spent many with someone while feeling very alone. This year, and perhaps it is time, I don’t plan on doing either. In fact, I can’t remember feeling so “not alone” in my life. It doesn’t have as much to do with who is in my life as it does with how I not only feel about those in my life, but how I express how I feel toward those in my life. What’s truly different about this Valentine’s Day and all the others I’ve experienced is what is within me. It is also what I am allowing out of me.
So, Happy Valentine’s Day. <3