Monday, February 14, 2011
A Toast to a Day of Love
There are so many takes on this day. Some people are celebrating the fact they are a couple. Some expecting gifts and tokens. Some expecting a wild night of passion. Some cynical over past disappointments. Some scoffing that it’s all nothing but silly romance.
But not me—my take is different. For me this is a day to stop and appreciate love in all its forms that has graced my life. To acknowledge the relationships, even the transitory ones, that I truly believed at the time to be deep and meaningful, and that had a lasting effect on my life.
When we get old, we’re supposed to get wise. And since I’ve reached an age where people are sometimes referred to in news stories as “elderly” , I think I will use that excuse to offer a few tidbits that I’ve learned in my lifetime.
When in a relationship, don’t wait for gifts. Why set yourself up for disappointment? I buy fresh flowers for myself because I enjoy them. If your loved one doesn’t think of flowers, it’s not because they love you less—it’s more likely because they don’t read minds.
If you’re paying attention, you’ll see plenty of signals that confirm that special bond: a wordless shared look that you both clearly understand; an unsolicited compliment like “Dinner was great, babe;” a lingering moment as he passes and notices some nice fragrance about you; a thoughtful act like warming up the car for you on a cold morning; or getting himself a drink in the evening and bringing you one, too.
Pay attention. It’s the little things that add meaning to a relationship—that confirm the love. It’s noticing those things that makes you value the relationship more.
Relationships are all temporary. They end for all kinds of reasons. If our happiness is based solely on being in a good relationship, at some point in life we will be very unhappy. It’s good to remember the good things that brought you together to begin with. It’s good to remember good things between you when you were together. It’s good to forgive and forget the things that brought the relationship to an end. If the end was the death of a loved one, it’s good to find a point where you can stop crying and be happy about the good things you shared.
All things will end. But life is wasted only if we fail to appreciate the moment we are in now and also the things we have had in the past.
Strive to be at peace with all the loves that have come and gone in your life and when you reach old age, whether you are with a partner or you are alone, you can say, “I regret nothing.” Won't you join me in a toast to that sentiment today?