Valentine Day is just over a week away and I’m hearing lots of comments concerning it. One of my teen daughters said just what she thought about it. “I hate Valentine’s Day”. I was a bit startled by her strong comment but, then again, not really. Yes, I mumbled to myself, I fully recall thinking ‘Cupid is stupid’ at her age. I even saw a friend on twitter who is planning an anti-valentine party. I couldn’t help but giggle. Another friend and I were a bit shocked as we entered a store together and the first display we saw in honor of Valentine’s was filled with dancing little devils holding menacing pitchforks. A day that seems to revolve around emotions surely stirs them up.
As a school-aged child I remember my own experiences to be strained at best. I enjoyed making the decorated box for my desk and took great care about filling out each tiny card to take to my classmates. The thing is I was filled with such apprehension about who would not drop a card in my box that I secretly resented the whole affair. Perhaps I was the first one to mumble ‘Stupid Cupid’ (not likely) but, I am sure I haven’t been the last. Up until I was fifteen I didn’t have lots of attention from boys. After that I had way more attention than I knew what to do with but, that’s another story for another day. Here is what I learned early on. Valentine Day was a day to be measured and more often than not I was found lacking. Lacking on the scale of love. Now, that’s heavy.
Now to most of us as mature adults we know that is foolishness but, still there is this day to celebrate or face or endure, accordingly. Some of us are married to the loves of our lives and have been a long time. Some of us have found the love of our lives and making plans for the future. Some of us have known love and lost it which causes our heart to grieve. Some of us are still waiting and hoping. Some of us have given up on love altogether.
With this in mind I’d like to offer a few suggestions that might make a day that seems unbearable, bearable in spite of Stupid Cupid.
1 – If you are in a relationship worth celebrating then do so. You have been given a great gift. Try something unique rather than elaborate. Give each other a pedicure at home with lavender scented water and include a nice foot rub. Make chocolate covered strawberries together for each other. Go to the museum and laugh at each other’s responses to the unusual things you will see. Read poetry to each other and do so with much dramatic flair. Be mushy.
2 – If you have known and lost a love worth grieving then do so. You too have been given a great gift. Give yourself permission to have grief but, don’t allow grief to have you. Honor the memory of what was good yesterday and then remind yourself of the joy of today. No matter how sweet the past may have been, it will not sustain you completely in the present. If you aren’t careful, you may find yourself stuck between the two and wasting away. That’s no way to live your life and you have a wonderful life to live. You too can celebrate love by pouring it out on others.
3 – If you are still waiting and growing weary as you do so, you too have something worth celebrating. You! You are worth celebrating. Show yourself a little love. A new book, a day off, a trip to the spa, a special concert, a lovely meal, maybe even a road trip. On my own?? You say? Yes, on your own!! I say. Why not? Go different places and do different things and remind yourself that you are worth celebrating during the waiting.
4 – If you have quite given up on the whole idea of love, you also have cause to celebrate. Here is what it is. Love has not given up on you! Things may have fallen apart and left you sure you can never trust again. People may have shocked and disappointed you until you’ve declared you will never be vulnerable again. Life may have pulled the rug out from under you just as you thought you were finally on the right path. You may feel you have earned the right to reject love and maybe you have. But, here is more good news. Love does not reject you!
Here is how I know.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT)