Right, right, I can hear many of you reciting that over-used line, “It’s just a ‘Hallmark holiday’.”
Is Hallmark inherently evil?
Don’t thousands of companies latch onto holidays to boost sales? We’re capitalists!
We don’t hate Presidents Day because linens are discounted, do we?
Does Egyptian Cotton trump flowers and candy?
Perhaps you’d say, “It’s an invented holiday.”
OOooooooh, ok… not like those organic ones we’ve found while out farming the land. Right…
Maybe you’d respond with, “Why should someone else tell me when to show the person I love that I love him/her. I SHOULD be showing them all year ‘round!”
Go do that! Valentine’s Day isn’t keeping anyone from showering their loved ones with affection on the other 364 days of the year.
Are you afraid you’re going to think up a romantic gesture for your sweetheart and right when you’re about to leave her that note or give her that gift, you’ll get a firm knock on the door from the Valentine’s Day Police?
“Sir, …sir, are you aware that it’s April 12th? What were you THINKING? Loving your significant other is strictly forbidden. Any thoughts, words, or actions of amorous expression must wait until next February 14th. V-day LAW.”
Truth be told, Valentine’s Day isn’t making anyone do anything. It just is.
If there were such a thing as “Hug Day,” would you fold your arms and refuse free hugs? What about “Compliment Day?” or “Get $100 Day?” These are all good things… things that should not make people bitter, but excited!
The beautifully sweet thing about this holiday is this:
It’s one day a year, set aside, to celebrate love.
The most important thing in this life… ought to have a day…right?
I mean… even people who aren’t at all religious, let baby Jesus have a day. (That’s Christmas, y’all)
And hardly anyone turns away green beer on St. Patrick’s Day.
No one complains that the 4th of July FORCES them to play with fireworks and eat BBQ.
Why does Valentine’s Day get such a bad rap?
I think the answer is this: people resent the fact that they don’t have the love they most want.
Valentine’s Day shines a light on the places where we feel lonely or hurt. Stick with me for a moment.
– Married people who are unhappy in their marriages – hate the idea of a spotlight on love… because they are feeling that awful cringing pain of not feeling loved.
– Boyfriends and girlfriends in undefined, ambiguous relationships, don’t enjoy the holiday that breathes down your neck and whispers, “you know… you really ought to think about what you want, and what this is. …I’m just sayin’…”
Anyone who is at all unfulfilled in any relational way – feels the heat of a day whose focus is the very thing you want, but don’t fully have.
And I get that… if there was a day that celebrated designer clothes or cool cars or fancy big houses, …I might feel left out. Like, “hey – I want those things too… but, alas… not this year.”
The DIFFERENCE is that Valentine’s Day is about ALL love… not just the Rom-Com, smoochy, McDreamy, end-of-the-movie-swoon-worthy-speech, PDA, fluttery tummy, grand gesture, sweeping soundtrack, surprised by flowers and poems kind of love. Valentine’s Day is about so much more.
Those things are all fine…but they are one sliver of the story.
I propose… you look a little further.
Celebrating love doesn’t have to be a romantic love.
I know, I know…this sounds trite…you’ve heard it before, …but all those super classy corner tables/tents full of roses and cheap teddy bears don’t exactly scream equal opportunity love…they ONLY make us think of 2 groups:
1. gooey-eyed lovebirds – new to the sweetheart scene, and untarnished by the world. Or,
2. guilt-driven men in panic-mode, on their way home from work
But, I’d encourage you to look beyond the consumeristic piece of this holiday and contemplate the heart of it. Aha! The HEART! 😉
You really can take a step back and look at your life…and appreciate the love of your parents, you can ponder the love you have for your children. You can take an honest look at the friends, co-workers, roommates, neighbors, etc. in your life…and have a moment of happiness when you realize they are all gifts. And maybe, …maybe you’ll even be inspired to tell them so!?
And if you look around at your life, and you truly have NO one to love… then (and I’m not pandering… I mean this), reach out. Maybe that means seeking out friendship, maybe that means reconciling with someone who’s caused you pain or who was the recipient of your anger/distancing/etc. Maybe it means visiting a church to find a new community. Heck, come visit MY church!
I know you all probably get sick of me going on and on about how I still have hope for finding love… and I do. But today is about appreciating and celebrating the love you ALREADY have. I’m blessed to have so much love in my life – amazing friends (I mean, AMAZING), awesome family (who I can call ANYTIME when I need a ‘shoulder to cry on’), and the two most beautiful, creative, sweet children a person could hope for. So, on a day made to honor love… I am full to the brim. 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!