“Love, and you shall be loved.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
So here we find ourselves on the eve of another Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate love- particularly of the romantic sort. What is it about this emotion that is so powerful that it compels us to write, read and even sing about it? No matter where you turn it is hard to escape someone emoting about new love, unrequited love, everlasting love or lost love. I think that, despite our best efforts to convince ourselves that we are all fearlessly self-sufficient, the plain and simple truth is that love is as essential to our souls as food and water are to our bodies.
Love, though, involves much more than just being loved. It is as much, if not more so, about giving love. In this fast-paced world where we are directed to feed our own needs at every turn, true love includes attending to someone else's needs which involves a deeper level of commitment than the commercially-advertised form of love that we witness in the media. While this truth certainly applies to romantic love, I believe it also applies to our relationships in a larger sense. Since my now-grown daughters were very young, I have tried to teach them that if you want people to care for you that you have to first care for others.
While this all sounds so simple, I had my difficulties with this whole love thing. More than once, love has gone wrong and left me to lick my wounds and scratch my head in wonder. Fortunately I met my match almost fifteen years ago. He is equally strong-willed, determined and challenging but has also shown me love and kindness of unlimited proportions. I can only hope he feels equally bestowed. Don't misunderstand, we can still drive each other completely mad but there is no one else with whom I want to end every day knowing that the adventure will continue with the morning sunrise. This Valentine's Day will mark our fifth anniversary.
So, as we all head out into the world tomorrow, I hope that we do so with a renewed spirit of generosity and kindness in our hearts. I really do believe that the secret to love is to first give love.