I must admit, I’m not much of a romantic. I will confess to having romantic notions about becoming incredibly successful, and achieving some amazing physical feat, but in terms of flowers and candle lit dinners, they aren’t my thing. Chocolate of course has nothing to do with romance for me – it’s simply a food group that I indulge in daily.
So when it comes time for days like Valentine’s Day, I don’t know if that makes me easy to have as a partner or not. I certainly don’t sit around waiting for someone else to prove that I am love-worthy. And I have never mistaken the size of someone else’s love by the size of the gift they have given me. I have received an abundance of love in my life that did not come wrapped in a bow, or with a large price tag attached.
Despite my lack of romantic nature, I have always been interested in observing how other people mark the occasion of Valentine’s Day. I know that there are some people who have very different expectations than mine. I suppose if I were to choose a perfect way to celebrate this upcoming day of love, I would choose to spend time in nature. I would choose somewhere beautiful; somewhere that gives me a feeling of peace. A feeling of peace for me feels an awfully lot like love. Spending it with someone I love makes it even better.
As I was preparing to write this blog, I was thinking back over this year and thinking about my favourite times that I was ‘in love’. I thought of the bike trip I took with my brother. Four days of complete love. Not that we were not working hard and sore, and sometimes lost – but the feeling of doing the trip was complete love. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Driving across the country with Jim, and stopping at Notre Dame to run, even though it was out of our way, gave me a feeling of complete love. Part of this was Jim’s easy nature about readily going along with things and helping to make it happen, part of it was the running itself, part of it was sharing it with Jim, and then sharing the story with our kids.
Spending a few days with my siblings right after Kaitlyn’s wedding was even bigger than love. It was heart- filling in the very best way. I felt incredible love as Jim played the guitar and we sang song after song from our childhood.
Watching both of our children marry people who accept them exactly as they are was love. So was standing with the parents of our new son and daughter-in-law, each of us knowing that our child is in safe hands with the child of the other. There was no better love to be found on those days.
Going to the funeral of the father of my very good friend, and feeling and hearing her proudly state her gentle love for a father who was not always either present, or easy to love, was an inspirational example of love.
I have many, many more small and large examples of love from this past year. I have noticed that love appears in my life in three ways. It appears as doing, as feeling and as being. When I am giving to others I am doing love. When I am with others who bring me peace, or participating in or watching an activity that brings me peace, I am feeling love. When I stand beside someone who needs me, or listen with empathy or walk beside someone who is struggling, I am being love
This Valentine’s Day, I invite you choose to give the type of love that serves you best; doing, feeling or being. No matter which of these you choose, may you also find a place to receive with gratitude any love that happens to come your way. It does not always appear as we hope, but it is often there when we take time to look. That’s amore.
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