It’s an elusive force, powerful enough to stop wars, tender enough to dry up rivers of tears and beautiful enough to inspire life itself. The Beatles had it right when they preached, “All you need is love.” Valentine’s Day should be a day to celebrate the gift of love, no matter if it’s a middle school crush or deep love that has weathered decades.
Can you remember your first crush? Think about the way you felt when you woke up in the morning knowing you would see them at school: that nervous rush of excitement and trepidation, the lingering fear that they might see right through you and how most of the time it felt like they did. On Valentine’s Day when classes exchanged cards with cats and Barbies and cars and those kitschy little sayings, you would give the best card to your crush, maybe draw a demure heart in the corner that you hoped they wouldn’t catch unless they felt the same. Even when you felt invisible to them, they were your shining star, the image of perfection that set you up to be a romantic from a young age.
Maybe your high school sweetheart broke you heart. You graduated, parted ways, and the perfect image of love that had been ingrained in you as a child was shattered. You’re alone on Valentine’s Day, surrounded by happy couples and a burning hatred for the thing you once cherished. But you come to learn love isn’t perfect; it’s a churning, intricate system that sometimes pushes you down and drags you along the undertow. Despite this, believe that it always brings you back up to the surface and eventually you’ll ride that wave to shore.
You’ll find someone who ignites something within you, someone who fills the corners of your mind when you’re staring into space and occupies the innermost sanctum of your heart. You didn’t think you could find it, but it’s there staring you in the face and they are the one, your soul mate, your best friend, the person you can’t imagine living your life without.
Years pass, decades even, and you become seasoned sailors, adept at navigating the storms and swells that come along with being in love. It pulls you back from the brink of ending it when your eyes are red from crying, helps the sun shine after a long raining night when all hope is lost, and inspires you to be the best form of yourself. All other emotions in their simplicity pale in comparison to this great energy.
When you grow old with creases formed by smiles and warmth bred by wisdom, who will be by your side? We’re all wading through the heartache to find our missing puzzle piece.
This Valentine’s Day, think of that person who your mind wanders to when you feel lost and lonely. Tell your significant other how the sun shines brighter when they’re near. Find the courage to be single on the day that seems to praise couples. Let go of the bitterness and celebrate the love locked inside you that you’re waiting to give to the right one.
Love is the greatest of all human emotions. Remember what The Beatles said and have a happy Valentine’s Day.