Friday, February 14, 2014

How I Truly Feel About Valentine's Day

I almost posted a picture I took at Ralphs of Valentine's crap
exploding everywhere.  It made my eyes hurt. Instead, I decided
to share this little gem that I took on my walk this morning.
Isn't this silly beautiful?  
On this oh most holy Day of Love, I wanted so badly to write something so passionate, so powerful, so enlightening, you’d be moved to hug a complete stranger.  I thought about it, prayed about it, I even went on a long walk to clear my head and prepare myself for this incredibly important task.

You know what I came up with?  A whole lotta nothin’.

Maybe I put too much pressure on myself (shocker).  My expectations were, of course, outrageously high: to write something so profound, it would change the way you looked at love forever.   (I just re-read this, and snorted out loud--just another super attractive quirk of mine.  Sometimes, not until I actually put my thoughts on paper do I realize how ridiculous I can be).

In the end, I decided to just be real.   So here it is:

How I Truly Feel About Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has always been my least favorite holiday. 

I remember my senior year of high school when my friends with boyfriends were sent beautiful red roses, giant teddy bears and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates during class (which by the way was totally non-disruptive and in no way made the single people feel like complete s#*%).  My few remaining single friends and I decided to be super mature and boycott the holiday by wearing head-to-toe black (a truly terrible idea in freaking hot Hawaii) and eat homemade Reeses-peanut-butter-chip-stuffed-fudge-brownies all day long (I try to throw peanut butter into everything I possibly can).  

Things got a little better in college.  After weeks of gentle prodding, my boyfriend got me a card and took me to a nice dinner. (HEY! MAYBE YOU SHOULD GET ME A CARD AND TAKE ME TO A NICE DINNER!!!)

I had an ex that would get downright angry at the mere mention of the “V” word.  To him, Valentine’s Day was a fake holiday created by those demons at Hallmark, designed with the sole intention of making men suffer by forcing them to spend outrageous amounts of money on senseless crap that was sure to be thrown out the next day. 

He’d argue for weeks: This is stupid!  All these stupid restaurants are just jacking up their stupid prices because it’s stupid Valentine’s Day!  Why can’t we just go to stupid dinner on another stupid day?

I’d fire back with: I don’t care!  I just want to go to freaking dinner!  What’s the big deal? 

One year, he asked me if he could take his recently single friend to a Lakers game on Valentine’s Day to cheer him up.  Wanting to be a cool girlfriend, I said Sure! and promptly booked myself at a spa. I spent Valentines evening with a masseuse named Helga.  And let me tell you, that was one of my favorite Valentine’s Days ever.

I don’t share this so you feel sorry for me (though, I mean, if you feel really bad, I do love hot pink peonies).  

I share this because it now strikes me as just a little silly that every Valentine’s Day, I’d work myself into a frenzy over two things:
  1. If I had a guy in my life (and if not…LOSER)
  2. If this guy bought me flowers and chocolates and took me to an overpriced fancy dinner, that meant he loved me 

I focused so much on the love of one person versus all the other love in my life.   

Like my wonderful family. My amazing friends. My incredible dog (only pet people will understand this).  

My unconditionally loving, generous, forgiving, full-of-grace God.

So. Much. Love.

I forget about all this love sometimes.  All this love that puts a smile on my face, warms my heart, and makes me feel so gosh darn grateful that hey, maybe I will hug a complete stranger.

So this Valentine’s Day, I’m shifting my focus.  To loving God with all of my being, and to loving everyone around me*.  To remembering just how loved I am.  

Like Hugh Grant says in my favorite movie of all time: If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.

Happy Love Day, my friends.  

* I paraphrased Mark 12:30-31 a tiny bit here.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. Words will come from your fingers when they are just needed to do all the steps you did to fill the ink well! :)