Places to Pour Your Love Into This Valentine's Day

To be completely honest with my audience, I have never really been a fan of Valentine’s Day. Just the idea of walking into Target makes me sick around this time of year. I just imagine tripping over the entrance while love blind birds scavenge and nest in their cutesy little dollar section – it quite frankly disgusts me.


            However, after dealing with life’s repetitive punches and being injected with intense amounts of hurt over the past years, I decided I needed a new perspective. I needed to look at it differently. I mean, after and above all things, it’s been love that has saved me.


            So, instead of shaming the beloved emotion on what seems to be its birthday of sorts, I’m going to celebrate it. More importantly, I’m going to celebrate my ability to spread it. Despite how many times the wear and tear of life has tried to take it away from me, love has always prevailed.



                                                First, I’m going to love my family.


            Rather than focusing on all of the dysfunction that has often served as a side dish to our quality time, I’m going to adore all of the laughs, quirks and ridiculous moments. All of the times someone said the wrong thing and all of the times we picked and poked at each other, it genuinely did make me into the strong person I am today – and for that, it is cherished. Besides, aside from some of the tough sides of my family life, I know that at the end of the day, they really were my introduction to love. Before I could speak, walk or even reveal my green eyes to the world – my mom and dad loved me anyways, along with 2 brothers. Not only did they give me the ability to love, but they showed me what it was before I could even begin to fathom what exactly it was I was feeling. For their continuous humor, plentiful support and ability to point me in a better direction, I love them entirely.


                                               Next, I’m going to love my pets.


            For being there in moments when I didn’t need words, but instead was in strange need of being tackled by my front door and covered in slobbery kisses that reach uncomfortably close to the insides of my open mouth. For never failing to lay their drool soaked stuffed animals on my lap. For inviting me to play on days where I could hardly even imagine getting out of bed. For pawing at my door when I’ve been in my room for too long and making every venture to the fridge an exciting one, I will never stop. Every single day, I love them more and that growing sensation of love will never plateau.


                                                Then, I’m going to love my friends.


            This one is easy to do, but sometimes harder to say or express. I’m going to love my friends for their crazy stories, obnoxious laughs and their consistent ability to eat food with me at just a moment’s notice. I’m going to admire their ability to make me laugh, smile and acknowledge the good around me in moments where things seem like they’ll never be anything but bad. There have been so many times in my life where other relationships and plans have shattered to pieces and my friends have stepped up, either to play the role I needed or coax me gently into better tomorrows. My friends have understood my pain, felt it with me and held my hand while we put the pieces back together and figured it out. At the very end of every day, my friends deserve all of the love in the world, because they chose to love me.  


                                                And after all that, I’m going to love myself.


            Despite how many times I have tried, this one in particular can be of the utmost difficulty. I find it unbelievably challenging to look at my life and genuinely feel happiness when I look at the person I am – but in the spirit of celebrating love, I’m going to do it anyway.

Because life is hard and the challenges that have been thrown my way have been heart wrenching. Yet, here I am. I am going to allow myself a moment to crack and pour all of the love and gratefulness I have over my hair. I am going to allow it to dribble down my face, over my chest and watch as it overflows around my toes. Because this body, this vessel, this mind and soul has endured so much within its lifetime and has fought back with an unrelenting amount of strength. I think often times, it can be so easy to get caught up in the moments within our lives, that we tend to sometimes forget who exactly is living within them. I’m going to love myself this Valentine’s Day, despite all of the mistakes and errors I tend to make, despite the messy hair days and eraser marks on flimsy scan-trons. I’m going to love myself, because I deserve that much.


In conclusion...


            This Valentine’s Day, I dare the world to view February 14th as more than just another holiday for the happy, new or redeeming couples. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, a celebration of relationships and a true celebration of self. Love, in all of its many forms, can and will prevail despite the darkness we as people are often faced with. And it is with love, understanding and appreciation that we will find the light at the end of the tunnel. It is within everyone. It is everywhere.

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