Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. ~Author Unknown
I was reading recently about a woman who, married to her husband for fifty nine years, wondered how she would ever go on and celebrate days like Valentine’s in the same way as she did in her youth. Reading her story reminded me of my father after my mother died and the deep sadness he wore like a cloak as he tried to figure out how to live without the love of his life.
It also reminded me of my own thoughts about the needed cancellation of every celebratory day on the calendar following the loss of Stephen.
It got me to thinking, about how the pains of loss are directly related to the depth of the love we feel. If we did not allow ourselves to be in the vulnerable space of love, would we spare ourselves of the hurt when that love changes? How many of us have had our hearts broken? Not only by death, but by life? How many of us have looked around us and asked ourselves, “Where is the love?”
I know I have. I have had many a conversation with The Big Guy about the location of said love. Why do bad things happen? Why do those we love die, or leave, or hurt us?
And there is no easy answer, and no Super Glue that can put a broken heart back together.
But there is love. Sometimes we don’t see it, or it is overpowered by negative emotions, but nonetheless, it is always there. It endures. Love is eternal, and has no beginning and no end. The love I feel for Stephen still continues to grow, even if he is no longer with me in a physical sense.
When our hearts break, when the world is bad, we often refuse to see the love, to believe that is can still be there as we hurt. This hurt/love intersection is a fork in the road of life. At the moment of great pain, we have a choice. We can choose to work through loss and pain believing in the existence of love. Or we can believe that when our hearts are breaking, love is nowhere to be found.
The choice is important. Because one produces healing and more love, and one produces bitterness.
So, I have a suggestion that has helped me, and will remind you that love starts within, and is still all around you.
This Valentine’s, take some time to craft a love letter, to you and your broken heart. Real love begins with a love of self, deep within, that enables us to then give love to others.
Celebrate how strong you are, sing the praises of your unbreakable spirit. Take the time to recognize the importance of your tears, the tenacity it took to wake up and live each day, even when the pain was excruciating. Recognize the fact that you still allow love in your heart, even when it is not easy to do so. Remind yourself that even though you are not in a Cupid/Red Heart kind of mood, that does not mean that you are not surrounded by love. Acknowledge the hurt, for what it is teaching you, and the fact that it means you took the risk and loved in life. Some people don’t let themselves love, for fear of what you are feeling right now. Look in the mirror and see that you are perfect, made in God’s image, and worthy of love, and deserving of future happiness. Give yourself a round of applause for the fact that you are still standing.
This Valentine’s day, take some time to show your appreciation….for you and that broken heart of yours.
Have a glittery red heart kind of day,