Guess what? Next Monday is VALENTINES DAY!!! Woo hoo! Right? Y’all are with me, right? Bring on the roses and the candy! No? Seriously? You don’t just love a holiday that’s all about romantic love?
Yeah, me neither. Until I saw the meme above. It changes everything for me. Yeah, me. I’m awesome. I think I’m the one.
Now, I listen to all the sweet, romantic songs in a whole new way - the more saccharine, the better! Check out a short list of romantic songs from the 80s and behold all the lyrical, beautiful, love cream puffs to me! My personal chart topper is At Last. I can croon myself into a state of loving bliss with Etta James. And then there’s Marvin Gaye’s How Sweet it is to Be Loved By You. Truth, nobody does it better than me.
Have a little fun and make a playlist of your favorite love songs. Especially the ones that make you cringe or even cry with longing or remorse - then listen to them again with you in mind. You are so good, so fine, so deserving of your love. You may find your babe-a-liciousness and dance the day away.
And then of course there are the love poems. Good god, we humans love to write about love. On Valentines Day, I’m planning on showering myself with love poems. The beauty is that, I’ll know it’s being received as intended - I don’t have to explain anything, because, you know, I get it. I’ll start the day with How do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways and after I read the news, I’ll read Come and Be My Baby from Maya Angelou. To round out the day, I’ll pour myself a glass of wine and read the poems of Hafiz as if they are all love poems to me from the slim volume, The Subject Tonight is Love. And just before I bid myself good night, I’ll take in The Woman I Love.
Years ago, stemming from my divorce, I thought a lot about love and the absence of love. Somehow the old biblical phrase ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ emerged in my thought puzzle about love. I’m not a religious person, but this phrase got stuck in my head. If you look it up, you’ll find that it’s put forth as a love second only to love of God. But if you read it carefully, doesn’t ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ mean….love yourself? As I pondered this, I came to the conclusion that I can only love someone else, anybody else - to the degree that I can love myself. However much compassion, empathy, patience, and care I can offer to myself - that’s what I have to offer to anyone else. However deep my well for love is, it begins with how I care for myself in word, deed and especially loving thoughts. This conviction waxes and wanes in my consciousness, but it has become a central tenet in my approach to life.
The thing is, love is a verb. It wants to be cultivated to grow. So, setting aside one day a year for love, it’s just never going to be enough.
When you know you’ve found the one, and it’s you, everyday is Valentines Day.