It’s a month for Valentines, a month for lovers. A month to show that special someone how you feel. Despite the heart-shaped candy, sweet nothings and boxes of chocolates, February is just another month to me.
I’ve been wined and I’ve been dined, taken on fancy vacations, gifted beautiful jewelry and enjoyed flowers on my desk in celebration of Valentine’s Day. After 30-some years, I’m still learning what love is; and it doesn’t have anything to do with what someone gives to me. Yes, I feel extremely lucky to have experienced some fun Valentine’s Days in the past. However, none of those relationships stuck- perhaps because they weren’t built on a solid foundation- love.
To me, love doesn’t mean fairy tales or happy endings. It isn’t a white dress, a white picket fence or a shiny white diamond. Love doesn’t concern itself with status or control. Love doesn’t look for the next best thing, and love certainly doesn’t live through its ego.
As I get older and begin to appreciate the little things in life more than grand gestures, the thing I want most is respect. Love means respect, selflessness and loyalty. Love means understanding, consideration and support. Love is a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on, even when you don’t ask for it. Love isn’t a show; love is what you feel inside your soul.
While I may never be traditional, I would love to love. Perhaps my picture of love will never look like a Hallmark card, but it will be genuine. Love is so much easier when you keep it simple: love yourself, love those around you and love the life you lead.