Maria A. Mansfield
The Love We Give
It’s hard to imagine a world without LOVE.
What would that look like? How would we make it through the day without it? And how could we find our way? I think most of us had at least one person who loved and believed in us. Many still do.
As kids, we received a hug or validation from someone close. Maybe the encouragement from a parent or someone we looked up to. As teenagers, we hopefully felt loved while trying to figure out who we wanted to be. As adults, we were reminded of how loved we were by that amazing person in our life. Many of us still are.
The love we give to others was born from that which was given to us. Still, we kind of learned it along the way. And what a joy that we always do. This journey is not a one and done. We still practice how to love every day. Cause many times our love is far from perfect. We don’t always get it right. Yet we try again because we know love is that home we inhabit and thrive in.
Valentine’s doesn’t only mean romantic love, heart-shaped balloons, flowers, and chocolate. It’s great if we have that. But the love we give always comes back to us full circle. It’s a seed we plant that will reap a good harvest. This love is not just for February 14th; it’s how we show it throughout the year. What a gift it is to share it. I am mindful of the challenge if you’ve been hurt before to try to do this again. But the hope is we can learn to love well.
My Valentine is my husband. In just fourteen days, we’ll be married for 22 years. It went so fast! It’s like one of those conversations that always seems too short. Two sons later, we still renew our vows; I wear my wedding dress and still remember it like it’s my wedding day. It’s not a fairytale, though, and it hasn’t always been easy. But so far, we’ve made it mostly because we love the best in each other. We focus on what’s right and what we have in common. That’s what love does. It covers the faults, the mistakes, and the misunderstandings because nobody’s perfect. At the end of the day, it’s not who you could love but who you couldn’t NOT love that matters.
I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day. And if your lover is not with you today, think of the special people in your life whom you love and who love you back. That’s who your Valentine is. Because this is the love we give. Make sure to tell them you love them -just in case they forgot.
Maybe the real challenge for all of us might be to love those who don’t seem that lovable. You know? The ones who seem a bit distant. Those who are unfriendly or simply downright unkind.
It’s here when I’m reminded of the times when someone loved me at my worst -and how real that love felt. If someone took a chance on us, we owe someone else that same grace. What a different world this would be if we all did that for someone we thought didn’t deserve our time, let alone our love.
It would be hard to imagine a world without LOVE. What would it look like? I’m sure we could make it through the day. And probably find our way. Just because someone loved and accepted us for who we were.
I wish you a beautiful Valentine’s Day!
All my best,
Maria A. Mansfield, PRS