It is hard not to write about Valentine's Day on Valentine's Day.
It is hard not to ruminate and grow misty-eyed on the day we all want to feel loved, to know we are loved, to have the proof of holding a heartfelt note in our hands, finding a carefully wrapped package on our pillow, placing those brightly colored blooms, balloons, and boxes of bonbons on our tables.
But love does not prove itself with these things. Oh, it is nice to be the one who receives them. And even nicer, to me, to be the one who gives them. But love does not prove itself with these things. And asking for proof of love is like questioning the existence of God.
It starts with this: you are loved.
You are loved despite your human flaws.
You are loved despite your failures.
You are loved despite your deficiencies.
You are loved when you stand up, and you are loved when you fall down.
You are loved the way a father loves his child, with hope and expectation and without condition.
You . . . are loved.
When you feel this love, when you hear it in the soothing sound of a gently flowing river; when you see it in the harmony of sun, moon, and stars; when you touch it the way a child hugs to her hollows a favorite stuffed friend; when you smell it in the divine smell that can only be described as fresh air; when you taste it like the sweetness at the center of sorrow; when you finally begin to speak this love's language, you begin to translate it into how you love in the here and now.
You give presence.
You give attention.
You give appreciation.
You give understanding.
And you guide your lover to a place of peace.
A place where the sun shines brightly but never burns.
A places where night falls gently, never before you are warm and safe.
A place where morning always breaks open with a smile.
A place where each day is dusted with liberal sprinklings of joy.
And the notes, the packages, the flowers, balloons, and chocolates, these are freely given, never demanded, always appreciated, never a source of disappointment because something was somehow not enough.
You shouldn't have.
You didn't have to.
I know you love me.
But I am glad you did.
Glad . . . and grateful.
Originally published on Tom Aplomb.
Thomas G. Fiffer's bestselling books, What Is Love: A Guide for the Perplexed to Matters of the Heart and Why It Can't Work: Detaching From Dysfunctional Relationships to Make Room for True Love, are available on Amazon.