I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
It's Valentines Day 2016 brace yourself for the "I am loved because I got this for Valentines Day" or "Look at what I spent so other people will give me compliments". I'm not bitter I'm a "recovering consumer" who learned a very difficult lesson about money can't buy me love. I would work long hours after the holidays to pay for things I purchased to show how much I loved my family and friends. Those long hours meant I spent more time away from them unable to enjoy quality time without falling to sleep when i wasn't at the office. Now a few layoffs and a few recessions later and experiencing the joy of family when I was able to cook for them and keep my eyes open and engaged while we watched a movie together, or keep my attention focused on them without picking up my phone to send emails or answer them. Just sitting on the shore with my husband and daughter as we watched the waves wash over our notes drawn in the sand. Capturing images of our time together with our camera and not the phone. Sitting and talking on the phone to my adult children or video conferencing with them. My heart skipping a beat when my phone notifies me my granddaughters are calling when the little picture of them pops up.
I have received some notable gifts from my husband that any woman would be grateful for but the best gifts were those where we held hands and walked with no place to go and no time limit, those were priceless and warm. I do my best now to have more and more of those to just be.
My spiritual journey played a major part in bringing me to this place of peace. I get up at 4AM to pray and mediatate during the week and 6AM on weekends. The amount of stillness and peace I feel can be repeated randomly throughout the day with bouts of mindfullness, those moments are priceless. Our walk with God are important because when everything around us in the physical world makes no sense, we can still find peace and comfort in the presence of the Lord. A scripture that comes to mind is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8Amplified Bible (AMP):
4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away.
So much about the holidays is rooted in comercialism and psychologically the commercials, ads, and sponsored posts are all to make one fall into the trap of spending money to express what cannot be purchased in a store or online. It's nice when people take hard earned money, money they had to leave family behind to earn, money they had to work next to sometimes "pain in the neck" people to earn. I'm not knocking those who take great pride in buying very expensive gifts for family and friends with money they worked hard for, that's a personal choice and no one can argue that point...However I ask you to consider something:
The holiday is over tonight will the purchase be over tonight? Will you need to spend extra hours at the office away from your family to pay back what you spent today? Those hours, precious time taken from those you love for a "moment" of pleasure and "bragging rights" is that worth it? Will the interest rate of love cause you to get an extension on the light bill to make the payment for the gift you purchased for today? Pushing things over and forward is moving but is it in the right direction? You've been thinking, "I would love a vacation for my family where we can just sit back and relax and spend time together and not worry about anything for just a moment..." Time cannot be purchased. You cannot walk into a store and buy more time. Time can only be spent and it's not refundable so if you blow off time working your butt off to pay for "things" is it worth it?
The stress that we as consumers bring on ourselves living up to the standards talking heads tell us to measure love and acceptance by just isn't worth it. So many are walking around looking for love with a price tag on it. Men are looking for women with perfect presentations of themselves and women are looking for men to maintain the perfect presentations of themselves and all are wondering why love is so elusive. Because love cannot be purchased with currency. REAL Love takes:
this list could go on and on...
Love is evolution. It's not a destination or a milestone. Love is alive and it grows and encompasses that is why people wind up disappointed because they expect their love to look like it did when they received it. There is no consideration for forgiveness, there's no maintenance or reminding. Us humans need reminding that's why the bible tells us God's word should be on our hearts and minds when we wake up and when we walk about our day and when we lie down. Why? Because it keeps us mindful of Gods love, His laws, His mercy, His kindness,His power and His deliverance. Otherwise we would get distracted by what is happening around us. The pain we experience from disappointment would be greater without God. Rejection would sting more without God, because of God we are reminded that we can never do anything that would change His love for us. God never leaves us.
Do our loved ones know they are loved no matter what? Do we base the love for our loved ones on them pleasing us, not making mistakes, or being imperfect? How do we create in ourselves the type of love that consumes those around us? How do we show love that says be you, be free, and be imperfect? We just do. We don't buy "things" we stare into the eyes of our family and we tell them there is nothing on this earth that could be purchased to materialize the love we have for them. Ask for their hand and sit quietly listening to the calm and to the peace of love.
Remember love is freedom to be. That is the true essence of love to just be. No need to be anything other than who you are and accepted, supported, nurtured and for you in turn to do the same.
May today bless us with whatever makes us successful and may God bless us real good.
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