Beccalynn married a Counting Mutant. Together they created a Renaissance family. Wild Oat found them in his 20s and now is married with three kids. Ase and Zany, former dancers who now bravely face life as emerging adults. Girly dances, collects dead things and faces her teen years with superpower logic. Creatively they navigate life through Jesus’ gift, asking uncomfortable questions to discover the deep love that awaits us all.
Discontent was growing. It is Valentine’s Day and all I can think about are my single friends. As usual I began to read blogs and posts about how others felt about this day. St. Valentine was a martyr. He died for what he loved most, his faith. Cupid and Psyche survived the greatest test of love, temptation then sacrifice of self. Because of this, they were given permission by Zeus to spend eternity together. Matthew Biberman said it best in his Red Room blog, Valentine’s Day in a Time of War, “Valentine’s Day, understood correctly, is the most radical holiday of all. It is a day to celebrate love between humans.”
As I walked dogs this morning, birds twittered love songs to each other accompanied my pondering. Single or paired today, all should celebrate. Love is the very act of putting someone above yourself. Jesus quotes the Old Testament when he tells us "Love your neighbor as yourself," in Matthew 22:39.
Usually we apply the first part of that question with nary a thought of the second. It occur to me that I first needed to ask: am I loving myself? Keep in mind, self absorbed and nurturing self are two different things. So the query began:
Am I treating myself with kindness, allowing for realistic expectations?
Am I eating in a healthy way?
Am I taking time to treat myself to things that recharge me?
If I am not treating myself to this kind of love, how can I -love someone else?
Then the question becomes about my neighbor:
Am I demanding my own way?
Have I extended grace to those who have inadvertently wronged me?
Whoever comes across my path am I reaching toward them in kindness?
How am I adding to their life in a way to inspire them to extend love to someone else?
At some point in time we have experienced love. Today is a day to recognize and honor it. It could be a spouse or a significant other. It could a friend, teacher or parent. Take the time and extend appreciation to that person. Let them know what their love meant. We all have a Love to celebrate today.