Valentine’s Day is an interesting day. While modern Valentine’s Day is meant to be a celebration of love, it’s also evolved to a day most men dread, businesses love and singles hate.
I truly enjoy Valentine’s Day because I think any chance to celebrate love is fantastic (and I did, even when I was single!).
To be honest, I'm actually happy I won't be spending my day with my husband (since he’s working away).
You might be thinking this is a bit weird. Or that maybe it makes me sad.
I believe in celebrating love without gifts, flowers, and a fancy dinner.
And it turns out, a few weeks ago, I received the best gift I could ask for.
At the beginning of January, I found myself in the hospital emergency roomovernight. I had been admitted late at night and as someone who faints at the mention of “needle”, I was anxious and nervous.
My husband Troy was there with me. The first hour. The fourth hour. And into the early morning hours and the day that followed.
I took this picture, around 3 am, of him laying on a stretcher bed next to me, trying to get a little sleep.
I initially took this because I was overcome with gratitude for him being there.
I was overwhelmed by the love I felt for him.
And I was humbled in appreciation of his strength (especially since he’s probably even more terrified of needles than I am!).
In this moment, I remembered what real love is.
Real love is not about flowers. Or candy. Or even jewellery (although who doesn’t love a little sparkle?!)
All kidding aside, what is important to me is real love.
Real love is the kind of love that isn’t particularly newsworthy.
It wouldn’t get a ton of likes on Instagram or Facebook.
Real love can’t be bought in a store.
Real love is for friends. Lovers. Family.
Real love is for everyone.
Real love shows up any day.
Real love is universal.
And real love is the best gift in the world.
As much as it would be wonderful to see my love today, I am grateful to spend other special moments with him throughout the year.
Today, I want to celebrate real love. Love in all its beautiful forms, shapes, colors, genders and ages.
Real love is a picture your child draws just for you (even when you’re not sure what it is).
Real love is making a separate dinner for someone because you know they have strong preferences or allergies.
Real love is talking and laughing on the phone, into the wee hours of the morning.
Real love is late night airport pickups. It’s mid-day snuggles and chicken soup when you’re sick. It’s handing you the remote (or at least accepting that you had it first).
You and I both get to spend the day celebrating real love with friends and family today, and any day.
Today, while no doubt, we’ll be sharing pictures of the people we love, and perhaps the gifts we get on social media, I encourage you to share your stories of real love.
Use #thisisreallove and share the kind of love that makes each of us better, happier and richer, in every sense. Because the world needs more real love – today and every day.
I wish you a day filled with giving, receiving and sharing real love.
PS. This Valentine’s Day, I want to talk and hear about real love. Share your story of real love (yes, the one that isn’t particularly Facebook or Instagram perfect) using the hashtag #thisisreallove.
Let’s spread the (real) love and celebrate together!