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Sunday
May182008

Valentines Every Day

By Bonnie-Starr Mandell-Rice

bonniestarr1.gifSo how did you spend your Valentine’s Day? This day commemorates love. It reminds us, in the words of a James Taylor song, to “shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel.” What if, however, we did not limit these showers of love to Valentine’s Day but made them part of our daily life? How would our relationships change if we made expressing our love part of our daily routine, like taking a shower or swallowing our vitamins?

Love is a vital nutrient for each of us and for our relationships. Perhaps we need an RDA (recommended daily allowance) for love; though because with love there is no danger of overdosing and there are no harmful side effects, this RDA would be a minimum recommended daily allowance. There is no shortage of love, so we need not worry about our supply of this vital nutrient running out. There is, however, a shortage of the giving of love. This is evident in so many of the Valentine card offerings. Many of them start out with “I know I don’t tell you very often …..”

Why don’t some of us tell those we love very often that we love them? Are we afraid of spoiling them, as if they were fruits that will become overripe with our love? Or are we merely complacent, thinking that they should know we love them because “I’m still here, aren’t I?” What if, however, you are no longer there, not because you have chosen to leave them but because you, like my father when I was four, die suddenly, leaving no time for good-byes, no time for reconciliation or forgiveness, no time to say one more time, “I love you.” Will they have known how much you love them? Will you know how much they loved you?

Love is not shown only by our words, but words matter. (“In the beginning was the Word.”) We all like, if not need, to hear those three little words spoken. I, for one, never tire of hearing them. For those of us lucky enough to hear them often, we need to pay attention when they are spoken. Not just another “that’s nice, dear” response. We need to let them sink in and to savor them. There is sweetness in them. Our appreciation of and gratitude for the love we are shown, whether in words or actions, magnetizes more love to us. Taking things for granted is tantamount, energetically, to announcing you’re not interested in having those things in your life. In the words of a Sammy Kershaw song, “Take nothing for granted, in a minute it could all be gone.”

So why not make every day Valentine’s Day? What will you let stop you from showering the people you love with love, from showing them the way that you feel? Decide today (or any and every day) to be love. Then, as in the words of another of my favorite songs (this one by the Bellamy Brothers):

Let this feeling
grab you deep inside
and send you reeling
where your love can’t hide . . .
* * *
Just let your love flow
like a mountain stream
and let your love grow
with the smallest of dreams
and let your love show . . .
* * *
Let your love fly
like a bird on the wing
and let your love bind you
to all living things
and let your love shine . . .
* * *
When you do this, YOU feel the love, you are the Valentine, and every day is Valentine’s Day.

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