Happy Valentine's Day, my friends.
I'll be honest - this day has always been a tricky one for me. Because it's an emotionally charged one. One that can turn into a minefield when we have unrealistic expectations.
So often we expect those we love to know our thoughts or our desires. To just know. And to make those things happen. That's not even remotely fair. To assume that someone knows you well enough to fulfill your wants and needs without speaking them or making them known? To place that kind of pressure on someone? Let me ask - How has that worked out for you in the past? Yeah, it blew up in my face, too.
It's a paradox, this day of love. Because of what we've had shoved at us for years - Flowers! Romance! Jewelry! Material items!! Perfection! Make all of it happen or this day is for naught!
I'm as guilty of it as anyone. I expected my husband to just know. To do all those things. Because my idea of showing love was all sorts of mixed up with what I'd been told to believe or what I saw. But the longer we're married, the more I realize that if I just look, he shows me those things all the time. His language of speaking love isn't the same as mine, but it's so evidently there: Bringing home my favorite pizza for dinner without even asking. Cleaning the snow off my vehicle and starting it for me. Giving me a pair of thick leather work gloves in the middle of January because he heard me mention I'd never had a pair. Cooking an amazing meal. Truly and sincerely encouraging and supporting my artistic endeavors.
I have to honor that. To honor his language of speaking love. The quiet, supportive things he does all the time.
And if you get flowers and cards and chocolates and jewelry? Good! So long as they are coming from a genuine place, not a place of loaded expectation. But, maybe for you it looks more like a freshly-made hot pot of coffee and a filled up mug handed to you without asking. Of sitting side by side at breakfast quietly talking between reading. Of watching re-runs of Parks & Rec on the iPad and he moves it closer to you so you have a better view.
And I still love this quote from Jessica Doehle so, so much: " ...when I think of love, I don’t think of disappointment. I think about my mother’s soft hand on my back. I think about bear hugs and Christmas presents and skydiving. I think about dinners on the porch, playing by the fire, and feeling the summer wind kiss my knees at sunset. I think about story time and passport stamps and fresh chocolate chip cookies. When I think about love, I feel free.
Love over expectation, love over disappointment, love over loneliness."
Here's to love and all its complexities and the growth gained from hardship. For making the choice to honor another person's way of showing love, for making the choice to work at it every single day.
I'll leave you with this - a beautiful, moving video that articulates real love so well - the love we share with so many people in our lives. Our significant others, our families, our children, our friends, our pets. Happy Valentine's Day and so much love to you, my friends.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann