It’s almost February! Which means it’s almost Valentine’s Day. The day of love, chocolate, and trying to convince my husband to take me to overpriced fancy sushi restaurants.
It’s also a good time to reflect on what love really is. The other day while discussing Kafka with my students (totally normal conversation when you’re an English teacher), one of them posed a question to me that made me really think.
“Do you only really love people you depend on or who give something back to you?” (or something like that – I’m sure he will correct me if I have gotten it wrong).
Huh. I had to think a minute, because honestly, if I really think about that question, most of the time the answer is probably yes. Most of the people I really deeply love I do depend on and I do get something back out of the relationship – even if it is just a sense of being needed. However, I don’t think that is really love. It’s part of it, sure, because we are human and that is part of our nature. But real love? I think it’s bigger than that. I think it looks something a lot more like sacrifice. Like putting others first even at your own expense. Even when you would rather run the other direction or give up.
I don’t think we see that kind of love modeled very often. It surely isn’t the kind we see in romantic comedies or in most of the relationships we experience. But when you do encounter it, it is life changing.
This Valentine’s Day, amidst the roses, the gift-giving, and the trying to convince my husband we really need to go check out that sushi restaurant, I am posing a challenge to myself to really love people with sacrificial love. The kind of love that forces me outside of my comfort zone and makes me put others first. The kind of love that says to people they matter. A lot. (Because they do. People matter so much.)
I’m going to throw out a challenge to all of you as well – poor souls who came here looking for pretty photos and less philosophical musing – to love someone sacrificially. It could be your kid, your spouse, anyone. Just pick someone and make a conscious effort this month to love them by considering them first and making a sacrifice of yourself – whether through your time, your talents, or just your presence.
If you’ve made it this far then wow, thank you (sorry I am long-winded), and surprise! I have a freebie or two for y’all. You can either download the exact graphic above (it is desktop-sized but you are free to print it as well) or you can download the psd file and make your own custom graphic (but you’ll need Photoshop or some other program that can edit layers to do that). You’re free to print it, pin it, share it, edit it, and use it how you like, just please don’t claim it as your own. If you are feeling extra nice you can comment below and say hi or link back here, but you don’t have to. I just feel like sharing.
You can download the original image featured above here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gnhvzd8ue9i9z8c/allyouneedislove.jpg
Or you can get all creative and snag the editable psd template file here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/raa1zx8lizhln0x/allyouneedislove_template.psd
Or you can do both. Or neither. Up to you!