Valentine's Day is coming soon. For some people they can't wait to have a romantic night out with chocolate and flowers. Others are praying their secret admirer will finally proclaim their love for them. For some it's a time that reminds them they don't have anyone to love yet or maybe their love isn't with us anymore. I can't imagine how tough this holiday must be for that specific group. But for the majority of people, it's a day to celebrate love and to be thankful for the love you have in your life.
In the Aristil's house, Valentine's Day isn't anything major. While one half of the house thinks that you don't need a special day to declare your love (insert eye roll here). Yet the other half grew up being nicknamed after a Disney princess and a family mascot named the "Valentine Weasel" who would bring a gift everyday from February 1st to the 14th (thanks Mom! You're a genius!) But I'll let you guess who is who.
Even though my husband always amuses me by getting me something sweet for Valentine's Day, I began to think about some other people in the world. I saw a news report the other day about a charity event for people on skid row. They had everything you could imagine for them. Resume building, clothes, haircuts, even dental students to check their teeth, it was amazing! I realized that was an act of true love. To show people that you care when they have nothing to give in return.
Valentine's Day is typically about your "significant other", but what if this year we made it about the "others" and made them feel significant. The person that gets lost in a room full of people, the person that looks different than you, or sometimes the hardest of all, the person that lives different than you do. As humans our love can be so conditional sometimes.
Since moving to LA, we've seen more homeless people than any other place we've ever lived. Now that Jordan is about to turn 4, he has more questions than ever. One night we were walking down the street and Jordan waved at a homeless lady. My first reaction was to tell him not to, but then I realized this was an opportunity to teach him. He said, "I waved at her mommy, because I'm with you and daddy so I waved hi to her." I told him that was fine because he was with mommy and daddy and that it probably made her really happy to have a 3 year old "Batman" wave at her on Halloween night. A mother's initial feeling is to protect, but I don't want to miss the opportunity to teach to love others, even when they sleep on the streets. Our love shouldn't come with a contingency. While this is probably one of the hardest tasks we face, everyone deserves love.
So for this Valentine's Day let's turn the focus to the "others", not just the "significant others" in our lives. Let's show true love with no contingencies and with no strings attached. God is love.
"I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know you are my followers if you love each other."
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend."
If this post challenged you today or even in the next few days, tell me about it! I want to hear about it! I know it really made me reconsider how I look at the "others" in my world.
I wanted to share this song with you. The lyrics say so perfectly what I want my life to show. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks to my husband Pierre for making it happen!