Several years ago, more than a decade actually, I worked in a little health food store in East Texas that sat next to a flower shop. On Valentine's Day, many a desperate man came searching in our neighbor's shop hoping to pick up a last minute gift for the lovely lady of his life, and much to my dismay (and I'm sure his lovely lady's) many a desperate man left with house plants and tied red ribbon since the supply of roses, carnations and other flowers were long since sold out. This was like a behind the scenes peak for me. My own husband, at the time, was not so good at getting himself together enough to come home with flowers and chocolate on Valentine's Day, and it was at this time that I made a decision. I would no longer celebrate Valentine's Day. I would no longer make anyone jump through hoops to prove their worth, or more importantly, to validate mine.
That was more than 15 years ago and much water has passed under the bridge since then. My first husband rests in peace, I have remarried to a man who is ever devoted, and I am watching my oldest daughter begin to engage the mainstream culture as every holiday passes. For an almost 5 year old who loves pink, red and hearts, Valentine's Day is a hard one to ignore. So this is how I came to contemplate, after almost 15 years of refraining from celebrating in this red-heart day, whether we might need to join in on some of the hooplah.
I have to admit, I love all the red and pink hearts too. There is something really intoxicating and celebratory about love for the sake of love and sweetness for the sake of sweetness. Passion for the sake of passion is not a bad idea either. And as I came to the realization that we would have to, no, WANT to let the girls enjoy this day along with the rest of the culture, I had to admit how nice it would be to be a part of that. Robert, my husband and the girls' dad, is much better at preparing for these kinds of things, so I let him know that I would enjoy partaking in a little love celebration this year and he complied wonderfully.
But as I share my yummy chocolates with Jetta and Jade, I am asking myself a few questions today, and I invite you to ask them with me.
What would I be doing if I chose to celebrate and love myself the way I want someone else to celebrate and love me? What choices would I be making if I knew without a doubt that every step I took I would take with full conficence and joy for being who I am? Who I am can be controversial, but what if I just let all that go and let others worry about the controversy while I celebrated what is so great about myself? And what if I was first in line to buy, for myself, those flowers and chocolates to celebrate the true worth and wonderfulness of who I am and who I can be? What if I knew that no matter where life takes me, I am there because someone else needs a dose of the magic and medicine that only I have to give?
I have been facing some serious road blocks lately and decisions have to follow, but making these decisions would certainly be shaped and influenced if I lifted myself up and remembered the value and worth I have, if I celebrated the sum of who I am, instead of worrying over how much they limit me. There is no judge but ourselves. And beyond this life there might not be chocolate.
So celebrate now, and be that awesome you. I'll be that awesome me, and maybe we can meet up and be awesome together.
Happy Valentine's Day!