Changing Your View of Valentine's Day -Filling the World with Love!

My dear friend wrote this as her Facebook status and I asked if I could share it here.  I thought she said it so well, so here's her post on making the most of Valentine's Day!

Written by Leslie Kawaii

12 years ago this month my then-husband unexpectedly deployed to Iraq. Within five days from when we got the call, he shipped out. I was 5 months pregnant. My parents had just separated weeks before. My grandparents (whom I was very close to) had been in a car accident the week before; the day my husband flew off to war was my grandfather's funeral. At that time, because we were in state of war, we rarely got to speak by phone (usually just one 5-min call per week).
This was just a couple weeks before Valentines Day.
I was surrounded by so much sadness.
I had two toddlers. I was pregnant. I was the oldest child of a family struggling through my parents' soon-to-be divorce. I was grieving over my grandparents. I couldn't talk to my husband. I didn't know when or if I would see him again. .. I felt SO alone. (Pregnancy hormones didn't help ;-))
I decided that Valentines Day would be about expressing and showing love -- FILLING THE WORLD WITH LOVE -- instead of focusing on the love I felt missing and the present pain I saw around me. BEST. DECISION. EVER!
I bought my little girls flowers. I gave single sisters cards and chocolates. I wrote love notes to people I cared about.
Two years later I was alone again, but because my husband had moved out.
I was SOO grateful I knew how to make the day amazing and wonderful.
I decided to fill Valentines Day with so much LOVE--GIVE it. SHARE it. SPREAD it--that my heart would be able to feel only LOVE on that day.

And really--we don't need a holiday to TELL SOMEONE WE LOVE THEM!!!
TRAIL OF HEARTS. I create a "trail of hearts" each year for my children, which they now look forward to! I put a paper-hearts-and-candy trail from each of their beds to a special breakfast table--with nice dishes and candles and decorations and their special notes and gifts all arranged! We have waffles and fruit and pink dip and eggs and bacon, etc. My son has already asked me, "Mom, you're doing the trail of hearts right??" He asks every year, and every year I assure him YES! And every year he can't sleep the night before on "Valentines Eve!"
LOVE NOTES. write my children love notes. This takes time, but to me is my favorite part. Every year I reflect on how grateful I am I have taken at least this one day to pen my thoughts of love to my child.
LOVE CERTIFICATES .I give my kids fun gift certificates they can use throughout the year (coupons for things like "1 free hour of TV" "1 book purchase of their choice" "dessert of their choice" etc. etc.) They have 1 year to use them up and they can redeem only one a day. I always honor them--even if it's the worst possible night ever for them to bring their "1 free movie with mom" night to me, lol! I also learned the hard way that you really need to take and tear up the coupon so it doesn't magically appear again, haha!
BOOK ABOUT LOVE. I give my kids each a book about love for their future children. These are some favorites: "I'll Love you Forever" "Runaway Bunny" "Guess How Much I Love You" "You are Special"
PINK FRUIT DIP. PINK ICE CREAM. PINK MILK. PINK. PINK. PINK. PINK. (One of favorite traditions?--I always dip the rim of our breakfast goblets in pink sugar crystals for fun, frosted glasses!)

Whenever I feel a "lack" in my life I think to myself, "WHAT CAN I DO TO CREATE THE ENERGY OR FEELING I'M DESIRING?"
Sooo… if I start feeling sad about not having "romance" at the moment . . I do some of the following:
GIFT CARDS. I give out Victoria's Secret gift cards or bubble bath salts or gift bags with Martinelli, etc. to couples who I know CAN celebrate…
FLOWERS, CHOCOLATES. I give flowers--sometimes even just a single rose--to single sisters. Divorcees who I know are aching. Widows longing for their spouses. Married women struggling to feel their worth.
LETTERS OF APPRECIATION. What a great day to write a letter or give a gift to a couple you admire or someone who shows love. I'm SOOO grateful for couples who treasure their marriage, who hold hands, who kiss!  I'm grateful for those couples who are struggling and doing their best to figure out how to show love to each other. We ALL need that "cheering on" that a letter of appreciation can do!
VISITS. When I'm alone on a holiday, I love to visit the elderly in rest homes. Their stories of romance, of loyalty, of honor, of family remind me what I am looking for and trying to create in my life. And, I'm reminded what loneliness really looks like . . and the power we each have to create connection with others. When my mother was single, certain holidays she would anonymously buy a flower and take it to someone who might be forgotten. That example has always stuck with me as I think of her courage in deciding to bring beauty to someone's life instead of focusing on sadness.

PAMPER MYSELF. pamper myself in some way: buy myself flowers or chocolates or take a bubble bath or buy a creme brûlée or watch a favorite movie!
So GRATEFUL TODAY for the reminders that LOVE is around us in ABUNDANCE! We just have to tap in to the source, to God, who desires to give to all men liberally. . . . and then we get to have the joy of SHARING IT!!

Check out our other Valentine's Ideas you can use to spread LOVE to all those around you!

1 comment:

Emily DeBry said...

I truly love this so much!! Thank you for such a great post on Valentines Day!