Valentines Day

(This blog is from last year. Update on my husband’s cancer diagnosis: he was fortunate to have a very slow type of prostate cancer that was caught early. With a round of radiation and a hormone shot, he has managed to lower his PSA and is doing great. We both continue to participate in support groups with the Prostate Network, though and express gratitude every day that his story wasn’t worse).

Valentines Day is day to recognize the love that connects us with others we deem as special. It’s a holiday I can’t let pass without some kind of acknowledgement here, because it’s all about LOVE, which is what I believe is our primary purpose here on earth. We are here to experience and to expand our understanding of what love is all about.

As I’ve aged, I’ve had some health scares, and currently, my husband is newly diagnosed with cancer, so we’re awaiting some results and weighing options on how to proceed. I also have several friends who are dealing with cancer and other health issues and the loss of loved ones. They are each approaching it in their own way, but I’m in awe of the courage they show as they move forward and take in the wisdom such experiences offer them. All of this just reminds me all too well how short life can be. I continue to learn to appreciate every moment of my life – the good, the bad and the ugly. I know ALL of it holds important opportunities for me and my loved ones.

Life doesn’t promise us anything, except choices. We have the opportunity to live any way we like. No matter how we choose to live, we’ll have pain and we’ll have joy. And we can learn from both. Life didn’t promise to be wonderful, but it sure is full of little wonders! And we only have to be open to see them, feel them, and allow them to happen.

We can choose to close ourselves off to all of this. From one perspective, it might feel safer that way. The belief is that no one can use us or hurt us. But in the long run, that route only hurts us the most. We would probably miss out on some of the pain that will inevitably happen (because it’s part of human relationships); but we would also miss out on the wonderful excitement, brilliance and loving energy that human connection provides. So we can choose to have life’s biggest wonder – love. Love has to be shared in order to grow and fertilize our lives. We share it in a smile, a touch, a hug or a kiss. We share it with a Tweet or post on social media, a card, a phone call or video chat, or a text. We share it with our friends, our partners, our family. And we can also share it with others we don’t even know, but who we see have been knocked down by natural disasters, poverty, health concerns or just mistreatment because of the color of their skin, their lifestyle or their beliefs that are slightly different from what a majority follows. Sometimes this is the most significant kind of love – the kind that forces us to step outside our comfort zone for someone who needs help more than we do.

There is no such thing as an ordinary moment. They are each extraordinary and wonderful in their own way! But they are more wonderful when we make a little effort to be the change we want to see in the world. So on this Valentines Day, I challenge you to give one moment of your precious time to someone who needs something you can give. It can be something simple, like helping an elderly person with their cart at the grocery store, buying lunch for a homeless person on the street, or just sitting silently beside someone who looks lonely. We often can’t do anything to change another person’s situation or feelings, but sitting with someone in pain is the most precious gift we can give, and the dividends are extraordinarily high for the cost of a few moments.

There is no pass or fail in life, All the experiences that happen to us serve as seeds for growth. So go forward and plant your seeds. And have a Happy Valentines Day!