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Happy Valentine's Day

By Remy Benoit

Ah, Valentine's Day is here, again.

It is often a quite difficult holiday, one that leaves many feeling on the outside looking in if they are not "currently in a relationship."

For those who are, there is the TV hype of what gift, or gifts, that sparkle or whatever, "show his/her love" in the best way.

It is a holiday with a high expectational level, with a huge crash potential.

But let's think about it. The heart, dare I say that, of the holiday is about love. Too often we think about that only in terms of "falling in love," rather than a loving attitude toward life and others, and our planet, and even ourselves. How well have you treated your heart's dream lately; your health?

The AP, SF Gate and Martha Irvine tell us about young people looking at what makes relationships work in their college class rooms Colleges Offer Classes on Relationships. If you think about, how much were you taught about relationships before you were in them? Were you taught with words, or models, or was it just expected that you would 'get it" and find one, ah, suitable to you and the family and their vision of you?

Were you the kid in elementary school with the desk covered with tiny Valentines, or the desk with one or two, or none? What program was put into your head then expectationally?

Were you raised with the idea that the "proper mate" would complete you, that Prince or Princess Charming would make everything "perfect?"

Were you raised with the idea of standing by your dream, loving YOUR dream, and finding love along that path, or were you told "we all have to compromise?"

Listen to the "old tapes playing in your head" today. Maybe some of them need to be in the recycling bin.

If you have, if you are blessed with a good relationship, cherish it, make the other person know that he or she is cherished. If you are not in that place, share the love you have with others around you by simply being kind. Remember the "random act of kindness" that floated through the air a few years back.

I recall on the TV show, Angel, when he said something to the effect that 'if it all means nothing, then the smallest act of kindness means everything.' Probably most of us don't believe that it all means nothing, but the acts of kindness do mean so very much. So instead of bemoaning the fact that perhaps you don't have a Valentine card, or the diamond necklace isn't quite what, oh dear, you wanted, share a hug, give a stranger a smile,be patient in a line, or driving your car, and know that love is the way. Our various faiths tell us that; we say we believe it; perhaps we should live it.

Be kind, to others, to the planet, to yourself.

There are several stories about the origin of the holiday, about St. Valentine.

Write your story today, be a Valentine, let the love, the awe of the gift we call life shine through your eyes and touch others.

If you feel the need to send a Valentine, try this place, The Hunger Site. or this one, Department of Peace.

Share a hug, share a smile, share a pro-active moment that makes today brighter for someone, even yourself. Plant a tree, plant some herbs, thank Mother Nature for the incredible planet we get to share. Here, take a mini-vacatin with the planet and its other inhabitants Nature Scenes.

And remember this: loving, unconditional, can conquer it all.

Happy Valentine's Day,


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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