All You Need Is Love
Valentine’s Day. A celebration of romance and romantic love…
Valentine’s Day can be very difficult for some. It is a day in which we celebrate romance and romantic love. It is a day of grand gestures – chocolates, flowers, dinner out, cards – but for some it can exasperate feelings of loneliness, heartache, and discouragement. It can be isolating. I know, because for many years I felt this too.
If there is something I have learned throughout my life of celebrating or not celebrating Valentine’s Day, it is that this day focuses on love. Traditionally it is the celebration of romantic love, but why must it be confined to only that one form of love? What about the unconditional love from your family and your friends? That is a love also worth celebrating. It is a love that rarely wavers, and it is the love that holds you up. So why wouldn’t you want to celebrate that on Valentine’s Day?
One of my very favourite Valentine’s Day was celebrated in 1996. I went out for dinner with a group of classmates to not celebrate Valentine’s Day. It was the I hate Valentine’s Day Celebration non-celebration, and to this day it stands out as being one of my most memorable and enjoyable Valentine’s Days ever. Why? Because there was no pressure, no expectations, and I was surrounded by people I cared for who also cared for me. By not celebrating Valentine’s Day we actually observed what it stood for – love. It may not have been romantic love, but it was love all the same. It was beautiful.
And as the years have passed, I always look back to that evening – that Valentine’s Day in 1996 – and I smile. For all the crappy Valentine’s that I have had, this is the one I remember. It’s this one that pulls at my heart.
I would be lying if I didn’t share that I have had at least one romantic Valentine’s Day that deeply affected me in the most profound of ways. Thirteen years ago, I reluctantly and nervously went on a first date with a co-worker on Valentine’s Day. We kept it low-key by going out to dine at a local pub – nothing fancy. I didn’t want any romantic ties or pressures for romance of any kind. I had a life-goal in my mind that I wanted to achieve and any kind of romantic relationship, I felt, would get in the way of that goal. I was right. It did. Because twenty minutes into the date my life completely shifted sideways. I knew. I knew in that moment that this was the man I would marry. This was it. That is the second Valentine’s Day that stands out in my mind. It affected me to my very core. It changed me. Thirteen years later here we are – married, with child, and still very much in love.
I consider myself extremely blessed to be surrounded by so much love – love from friends, family, my husband, and my child. It’s overwhelming and heartwarming and real. I feel like every day for me is a celebration of Valentine’s Day. Every day is a celebration of love. There doesn’t need to be grand gestures because true love is simple and quiet. It’s every day. It’s coming home late at night to a meal prepared for you; it’s the feeling of your child’s arms wrapped around you in a hug; it’s the shared memories with family; it’s the shared moments with friends. It is the every day small gestures that are the most meaningful as they are the ones that have the greatest impact on the life you live.
I do have a Valentine. I have many, many Valentines. As do you. Look to your friends, your co-workers, and to your family. These are the people that care for you – every day. These are the people that know you, get you, understand the intricacies of You. They are the ones that show you love. Celebrate that today. Celebrate love – romantic or not – because love is all around. Love is far-reaching, paramount, and essential. Love is energy of life. Celebrate it every day.
All You Need Is Love. Published by Crystal Joy Hall