If you don't, s'ok. You can still probably recognize that, given today's date, I'm talking about "love." Love, love, love, love, crazy love.
I don't know why the world (or maybe just our society) has made the day such a schmaltzy commercialized occasion, but whatever the reason, it can sure lead to a lot of apprehension, guilt, disappointment, and resentment. Which is sad, to me, because none of those things make me think of love.
And, I think about love a lot, not just on Valentine's Day. It's always on my mind. Not (just) because I'm a sap, which I am, but because I think of love as the cornerstone of every good and right thing in life.
I think of what it means to love and to be loved. I talk about it with friends, as we discuss relationships and dating and the highs and lows of life in and out of coupledom. I watch love as it plays out between my parents, who will have been together 45 years in August.
I see love in everything, especially kids. Because before they grow up and get their hearts broken by life, they have nothing but hearts of love.
I heard a story on the news the other day about a child, four years old, beaten so badly her kidneys were shutting down. At Christmas, I visited a shelter where 25 kids were staying because they had no place else to go. I have eyes to read the paper and see the news stories of the pain that goes on every second of every day in every single part of this world.
And everywhere you look and in every set of eyes in which you gaze, you see looking back at you, someone who is hungry for love.
Yes, even that boss who is nothing but the biggest asshole you've ever met in your life. Even the douchebag who cut you off in traffic this morning. Even the brother who never talks to you or your parents anymore unless he needs something. Even the young man who beats a four year old to death in a moment of anger he can never take back.
I know it's a completely rose-colored view of the world that I have. This is my viewpoint, because I've been given so much love in my life and it's what I know. I recognize that I'm fortunate and that this good fortune affords me a viewpoint that may actually be downright stupid and unrealistic (or bleeding heart?).
But my life is not always roses. And, I've had my share of hurts, disappointment, and betrayal. I'm also sad to say that I've been on the giving end of those things, too.
Maybe it is an overly simplistic view of the world. This notion that love solves and cures everything.
But it does. It's the only thing that does.
In all these years of strife and hatred and ugliness that have been roiling around since time immemorial, the simple fact of the matter is that we have not destroyed each other, yet. We keep trying, but every time, the better part of humanity steps up and steps in.
And every day, the better part of you does the same...in every moment that you do something, no matter how small, out of love.
To love. To love. To love.
There is nothing else...
* Clearly, I have lost my mind. This is not what I intended to write when I sat down this morning. Hmmm...