On Valentine’s Day: Why Not Go BIG?
By Lori Welch Brown
On Valentine’s Day: Why Not Go BIG?
This year calls for shaking things up, and I’m starting with Valentine’s Day. Why should the day of love be reserved for weak-kneed, liver-quivering adolescents desperate to get the attention of their first crushes? Or twenty-somethings who finally have an excuse to shower the object of their affections with emojis? Or marrieds jockeying for over-priced dinner reservations?
No—we need to go retro. We need to go old school. And, we need to go BIG.
Given the sh#t show of a year that was 2020 and the fact that it is finally in our rearview mirror, I’m petitioning to make 2021 the year of L-O-V-E. So who’s ready to shine their light of love onto some deserving souls?
There are a million ways to show love, and Hallmark and CVS started shoving red hearts down our throats on December 26. I know—it’s a made up holiday, but I do love those cute old-school Valentine’s wrapped in their tiny envelopes. Just the memory of walking the aisle clutching my allowance, looking for the perfect-themed box is enough to make my heart melt. Mickey and Minnie? Too love sick? Winnie-the Pooh? Too juvenile? Hong Kong Phooey? Too crazy? Maybe Care Bears? Too gimmicky? Cinderella? Too clingy/desperate? Ahhh. The decisions.
But the best part? Decorating the receptacle for your Valentines. Brown bag or shoe box? I’m a brown bag kinda girl, myself. But, a box is nice too.
Who will be the lucky recipients?
The UPS driver who has diligently delivered all my packages. The mailman who is the recipient of Dozer’s daily siren barks. My beloved neighbors who are always at the ready to lend me some almond milk, stand around our fire pit, or share a meal delivery. The vet who takes such good care of our babies. The list of people deserving of love is endless and full of possibilities.
I am in love—with all the good, kind people out there risking their lives to make us food, deliver our mail and take care of our sick.
The question to be asking ourselves may be not who do you love, but who don’t you love? And really, really trying to feel the love for everyone. Who are you ready to forgive? Who have you been holding a grudge against? Are you holding onto any long-standing resentments? Is there someone you could be more accepting of at work? Is there a family member you haven’t spoken with for reasons you can no longer remember?
Forgiveness. Letting go of judgements, hurts, grudges, etc. That’s where the juicy love hides. It may be time to bring it out into the light. Or, maybe you’re not ready to be all hearts and butterflies. That’s fine also as long as you create space for forgiveness in your own heart and carve out any dark, lingering pain. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and expand your capacity for love in other ways that don’t involve the person who caused you pain and/or trauma.
Let’s show LOVE in big ways this year. While we are at it, why restrict it to just February 14?
What about writing random acts of love notes every week. Make a list of 2-3 people to send some snail mail too. Who doesn’t love seeing something other than a bill or ValPak in their mailbox?
How about going old school and picking up the phone to actually call someone real time? Call your aunt in Wyoming. Call your college friend on the West Coast. Call your daughter-in-law just because.
If you can afford it, send an inspirational book to someone who might need some uplifting words. Or better yet, write him/her a poem.
Get creative. Buy a watercolor pad and paint away. Send your art out into the world via your friends. Bring a smile to their faces by showing them your artistic love.
Buy a bouquet of sunflowers. Drop one stem off at each of your neighbors with a note, “Sending you some sunshine today.”
Make some “Hug Coupons” and distribute them to everyone you’ve been yearning to wrap your arms around this past year. Let them know they can be redeemed multiple times and don’t include an expiration date.
There are lots of ways to show BIG love. Get creative. Broaden your circle. Think out of the box. There are no boundaries when it comes to love. Express yourself wildly and imaginatively. And then stand back and see what happens. Love is like a boomerang. Be ready for it to come back to you in spades.
Happy Valentine’s Day!