Yesterday was Valentine’s Day or the “Day of Love”. It was the day that millions of Americans spent billions of dollars to prove their “love” for one another. People literally spent hundreds of dollars buying flowers, candy, stuffed animals, clothes, and balloons for the “ones they love the most”. Then, we paraded those things all over social media in an attempt to prove just how “loved” we were.
As I sit here, I can’t help but wonder how big of a show did most of us really put on yesterday? How many of us actually looked at the person who spent that small fortune and truly felt grateful for the “love” given to us?
How many of us were disappointed because we didn’t get what we thought we should have from the one we love? How many of us voiced our frustration? How many of us swallowed our hurt one more time? How many of us just want to give up altogether?
My favorite movie of all time is Hope Floats. It is full of truth about life. One quote sticks out in my mind:
|“Do you think life goes on forever? That behind every chance is another and another one? It’s the worst kind of extravagance the way you spend your chances.”|
I wonder how many of us wasted yet another chance to show the people in our lives how much we really loved them yesterday. How may of us went through the motions and bought the stuff so the people in our lives would feel loved instead of left out? How many of us then went home, ignored our spouse, and yelled at our kids? I wonder just how many of us flipped through social media wishing that someone on the screen was loving us instead of the ungrateful people we are currently living with and spending our money on?
Do any of us really know how blessed we are? Do we even realize the gift that we’ve already been given by just being alive? Why do we waste our time, money, and effort putting on a show? What are we gaining by ignoring the most precious gifts in life? I don’t understand. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.
Today should be the best day of our life! And, so should the day after that if God chooses to let us have it. Why are we wasting our time putting on a show for the world and ignoring what really matters? Why are we choosing work, friends, or hobbies instead the people we profess to love?
My heart is sad, and it hurts for the ones who just want to be loved in return. My heart hurts for the ones who wish they had their families back together again. My heart hurts for the ones who would literally give anything they had for just one more minute in those old familiar shoes they wore for years beside a spouse who had to leave this world too soon. My heart hurts for the marriages that could be so much better if one or both of the spouses put as much effort into the relationship as they do their work or hobbies. My heart hurts for the single parents who would give anything to have a partner in life that they could trust and love with all their heart.
I see you…and my heart hurts for you.
Let this be a wake-up call to all of us. Let these words hit home. Stop pretending that you love people when the fact is you spend every day rejecting their love. We are all guilty of doing this from time to time. We don’t want to interact, so we escape to social media. We don’t want to deal with issues, so we ignore them. We don’t want to put in the time or effort just to get hurt (again), so we focus somewhere else.
Y’all, we have got to stop the madness! Stop choosing the easy way out and giving up because we don’t “feel loved”. Stop hurting the people who want and need us the most by ignoring them when they are in the same room with us. Stop putting on a show for the world and pretending to love with our whole heart when the truth is we don’t know how to really love anyone besides ourselves. Please stop!
We aren’t fooling anyone except ourselves. Life is hard and there is no easy way to get through it.We have to have a deep pit of determination, effort, and grit inside our souls to merely survive. That’s the truth!
At the end of our lives, I believe all any of us really want out of life is love. Real, deep, abiding love from the people we shared our lives with while we were here on Earth.
Why don’t we choose it over selfishness?
Why don’t we really live it everyday?
Why don’t we give it more freely?
The world is full of hate and misery. Life it short and fleeting. Why are we making ourselves miserable by rejecting the one thing we can never replace once its gone? It is high time we open our eyes to the ones around us and realize that we’ve got this whole love thing all wrong. Love is not how much money we spend on someone. Love is not how we “feel”.
Love is sacrifice and hard work. Love is time and attention given freely to a person without thought of gaining something in return. Love is talking when we don’t want to talk and sharing when we don’t want to share. Love is an action that requires us to do things for others; not take things for ourselves.
One thing I know without a doubt; when people are gone, they are gone for good. We all have to live with the consequences of our actions towards that person for the rest of our lives. It is the worst kind of extravagance when we take their presence for granted.
Today, I’m asking all of us to stop walking blindly through life ignoring the ones we say we “love”. Stop buying things and parading around like it matters. Stop rejecting people who want to share our time and attention. Stop being selfish and too busy with our own interests. How are we impacting their lives? Are they better because of our love?
Sadly, many of us can’t say we are better because of the people we love. It is time to stop being so selfish. But, what can we do you ask?
Well, we can start by calling or texting our spouses just because we miss them during the day. We can make it a habit to turn the computer and the cell phone off when we get home at night. We can focus on what really matters. We can put his/her needs before our own. We can say we are sorry when we realize we have hurt them. We can listen when they want to talk. We can put the kids to bed early or say no to another outside commitment.
We can quit being the victim in our own lives. We can say no to being angry, resentful, spoiled, and hateful. We can make a choice to see that the life we have right now is a gift.
We can cherish it.
Oh, and please stop believing that all the gifts we are buying and posting pictures of are the only way to know that we are loved. Those things are nice, but they are not the only way to express love. If someone loves you and they give you gifts (on more than one day of the year) say, “thank you”. That’s his/her way of expressing love. Gary Chapman calls this a persons “love language”. He says that there are five love languages that people tend to express. Giving gifts, quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, and acts of service. He has an online tool that is helpful in determining which love language we speak. You can find it here.
Take the time to figure out what your love language is and then ask your spouse to do the same. There is also a quiz for your kids. We don’t have to stay stuck in a rut. We don’t have to give up on relationships that don’t make us “feel” good. We can choose to love the unlovable. We can choose to work harder on ourselves than anyone else. And, we can choose to love through the good times and the bad. Make the best of your life and live it to the fullest each and every day. You never know when this might be your last chance in life…please don’t waste it!