We’re bombarded by LOVE this month. Fuzzy heart pillows, and boxes of candy lining the aisles. There are greeting cards, dozens of red roses and stuffed teddy bears. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a total romantic, and LOVE this holiday. BUT:
I’m afraid we’re forgetting some important things about REAL LOVE in our celebration.
We’re forgetting the hurting. The widows and widowers who miss their loved ones. We’re forgetting the divorced, the broken-hearted, and the single. Because… love is more than mushy feelings and chocolate kisses. Much, MUCH more.
It’s found in the heart of a sleepless mother keeping watch over her fevered baby. The broken-hearted prayers of a couple trying to hold their marriage together, when the feelings of love has long-since gone. It’s the heart of a woman who opens up her home and listens to a friend talk until 1 a.m.
You see… real love isn’t always comfortable. It’s not always easy. Honestly, real love often feels like you’re slogging uphill with mud caked around your wellies. Real love is found in the hurting. The moments when you’re not sure that you can keep going.
Real love is when you bite your tongue before you say hurtful things to your best friend. Sometimes it’s opening your mouth and speaking some truth over a bad situation… even if it feels uncomfortable. Real love can be standing your ground… or letting go of something you’ve been holding on to.
I’ve seen men set aside their own ambitions to take care of their newborn baby while their wife fights depression. I’ve watched wives working hard to bring home the bacon, while their husbands struggle with chronic illnesses and raise the kids. Single women who open their doors, and hearts to care for hurting friends.
Real love gets right down into to dirt of life. It gets messy. It takes on work and burdens that we’re not sure we can handle.
Maybe that’s why we celebrate love in February. A month when we’re longing for winter to be over, and for the flowers to bloom again. Because when life’s circumstances feel cold and heartless, love can step in. Real love. The kind that hangs on to you no matter how bad the winter. The kind that doesn’t give up even when it seems like everything is cold and dark and dead.
Please hear me:
REAL LOVE doesn’t require a significant other, a dozen roses, or any of the trimmings that everyone is trying to sell you right now.
Just hang on to the people you love, and don’t let go.
I hope you’ll help me share this message and encourage others to celebrate REAL love on Valentine’s Day! Share this blog post on Facebook, and please share a photo of someone you know who DOES love everyday! Use the hashtag #chasingreallove .