St Valentine’s Day is a commercial creation. You have two options – to rant about the commercialisation and ignore it – or to accept its commercialisation, ignore that element of it and simply see it as a chance to tell someone you love them.
The people you love will not get tired of hearing it. And telling someone you love them means you live your life with no regrets – because we never know when the “last time” comes to do that. So I’m going to ask you to pause in your reading of this, and just go and tell someone you love them – but do come back, as I want to tell you what love really is all about, because it’s not about expensive gifts, easy words and grand gestures.
Or at least not according to my second husband, Lee. Here’s what he’s taught me about love (💜):
· Love with the right person is real. It’s honest. It doesn’t hide from discussing what must be discussed or from making hard decisions, and it’s wise enough to usually choose the “right time” to do this
· Love is being willing to compromise on anything that doesn’t really matter. Squeeze your toothpaste tube in the middle if you must.
· Love only makes a big deal out of anything that merits it
· Love is an action word. It’s making a cup of tea, making the dinner, emptying dishwashers and washing machines, changing beds, shopping and cleaning and ironing – and anything else that goes into shared daily living. It’s breakfast in bed, tomato soup when you are ill, and trips to the garage late at night because someone REALLY wants chocolate. It’s candles, romance, passion and hugs. It’s big shoulders to share burdens and sadness with, and it’s big arms to carry you if they needed to.
· Love is saying sorry when you offend or hurt, but trying to live in a way that means there are few occasions when you ever need to say it
· Love lifts you up because it’s the wind under your wings.
· Love never laughs at your dreams; it supports you to dream bigger, fly higher, find your purpose and follow it, even when that means a change in lifestyle because “we’ll make it work.”
· Love is blind; even when you’ve put on a lot of weight, it still thinks you are beautiful.
· Love cherishes. It always makes you feel like you are the most important person in the world and nothing – and no-one – is worth threatening that for.
· Love respects boundaries, space and beliefs.
· Love puts the other first. As Mamie Magnusson said to her daughter –marriage is a great system. “You just exchange egos. He looks after yours. You look after his. His whims are yours. Yours are his.”
· Love is knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that wherever I am in the world, he’ll come running.
I’m blessed beyond measure by my greatest teacher on love. I tried to find a bottle of Coke with his name on it once and couldn’t find a “Lee” – but I found one with Love, and that was his name anyway, so I bought it.