What is LOVE?

While so many are running around making dinner reservations, paying more than they should for roses and trying to decide if they should’ve gone to Jared’s, there are just as many wishing it was February 15th already.

We get so caught up in the commercialization of Valentine’s Day that we lose sight of the pain this holiday causes many people around us. For some, this will be the first or another February 14th without their loved one. For others, this day becomes a painful reminder of abandonment, brokenness and relationship failure. Both would give anything to have someone ask them just one more time, “Will you be mine?”

I encourage you to be sensitive to others this holiday. Wish everyone you see a Happy Valentine’s Day and mean it. Go the extra mile to help someone heal that may be lonely this Valentine’s Day by giving them cards, a box of chocolates or taking them to lunch.

If you are on the road to relationship restoration, you might be asking “what is LOVE” anyway. Here’s what I believe LOVE is all about:

L stands for Love Yourself. It’s impossible to love others completely if you don’t first love yourself. If you hide your insecurities from yourself and others, then you don’t represent who you really are. How can you expect others to be real with you in relationship when you in fact are not being real with them or even yourself? We all have insecurities (though some are better at covering them up), so embrace and overcome yours by understanding the source. Also, know that someone loves your imperfections more than you despise them.

O stands for Overcome. In order to love freely, you have to overcome your past relationship failures. If you have built walls around your heart for protection, you have to know these walls also keep your heart from getting out to others. Once you get over the past, you will then be more open to the future and all the possibilities it can bring.

V stands for Validation. If you are validated by your relationship, then you lose your existence when the relationship ends. However, if your existence validates your relationship, then you will bring more to the relationship than what you take from it. When you find validation in your faith, your relationship will be built on a firm foundation.

E stands for Expectations. Are you setting your expectations of yourself so high that you will never be happy with yourself or anyone else? Or are you setting your expectations of others too low so they don’t disappoint you? You deserve more… more love, more respect and more of their time. You deserve their best and not just what’s left.

As we go about our day celebrating love and relationships this Valentine’s Day, may we all take a moment to love ourselves, love the unloved and even love the unlovable. This is Unconditional LOVE! What we all must strive to give and receive.

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