Love is the answer.

This year on Valentine’s Day I am single. Make your own coffee, carry your own groceries, do all the laundry, sleeping diagonally across the bed, paying all the damn bills… kind of single. I have a roommate, but it’s still always my night to take out the trash, and my turn to do the dishes…

I don’t have a lover to eagerly shower with gifts, love, and affection. So instead of spending time searching store shelves or Pinterest, for meaningful and creative ways to express my feelings for a partner; my task has felt much more daunting. The mission should I choose to accept (which I have), is “simply” that of survival. How can I continue to exist and endure this “holiday?” Another first for me as I’ve embarked on my new life’s journey; post “Law and Order SVU, season finale…”

So as you can see, I’m pretty sure I’ve been energetically flipping off Valentine’s Day since February first arrived, maybe even before that… In fact, even as I began to write this I was rolling my eyes… Fortunately enough, I’m too wise to believe that being a scorned, closed off woman (for any great period of time), would prove to serve me well. So I’ve been asking myself recently, “how can I better work to embrace and celebrate all of the love that exists around me?” Not just on this “Hallmark holiday,” but everyday…

I mean, how can I be IN a wedding after having meticulously and lovingly planned every detail of my own; only to then cancel it and seemingly kiss my dreams goodbye!? How can I bare to witness doting fathers play with, and love their little girls, without being engulfed by heartache? How can I relish in the authentic beauty of the love that surrounds others; when I’m still not completely free from the grasps, of what was the darkest time I’ve ever known!?

Although challenging to implement, the answer is clear; it all comes down to choice. The truth is that regardless of the condition of our hearts; we get to choose love. It’s often “easier” to be overwhelmed by all that we believe we are missing. For me it’s hard not to notice what is missing when it’s always my turn to change Molly’s diaper, make her dinner, or get up with her in the morning. It’s hard not to remember that I’m on my own, when it’s always my turn to carry the groceries, do the laundry, and shovel the driveway… We all have parallel examples of what feel like voids in our hearts and in our lives, depending on our current life circumstances.

So it starts with a shift in perspective. It starts with sometimes (or often times), learning to tediously remind yourself; that love really is the answer. For the truth is love doesn’t betray us. Love didn’t leave me at the alter or with a child to raise on my own. The opposite of love did that… Love doesn’t keep you up at night crying when you lose someone, the absence of it does. Love does not hurt you, it heals you.

So it is not without great thought. It is not without intentionally shifting your perspective; from a place of fear to one of love. It is not without believing in miracles; both big and small. It is not without weathering the storm of a rainy night…

It is within the surrendering to what exists now, and the knowledge that it too shall pass. It is within the deep faith and understanding that the universe is conspiring for, and not against us. It is within these courageous beliefs and understandings, that we not just survive Valentine’s Day and the other days; but that we can thrive through them.

With any luck by this time next year or the year after that one, you or me (heck maybe even both of us), will be insanely in love and walking closer in alignment with our true selves… That will feel great, but don’t feel bitter about where you are now. Let yourself practice acting, instead of simply reacting, to what it is that you see and feel. Let the lightening illuminate your path. Let the showers water you; you are growing. Be touched by all of the beauty and love that exists around you. Extend kindness to help that love flourish, and so will you.

Love is the answer. Choose love.

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