To love and be loved are wonderful emotional experiences. There are seasons and holidays when you might say “Love is in the air.” We just celebrated Valentine’s Day and love was expressed in many ways. Loved ones received sweet smelling ﬂowers, heart-shaped jewelry, chocolate candy and other endearing gifts. Many were treated to a romantic candlelight dinner. Hugs and kisses were plentiful and “I love you” was spoken time and time again. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries are among other occasions when we gift and love on family and friends. Yes, love is a beautiful thing, but it shouldn’t be limited to a holiday or special occasion. The time to love is now!
In the business I am in, I see people saying goodbye to loved ones often. Not the “see you later” goodbye but the ﬁnal goodbye after a death has occurred. When we lose someone we love, the opportunity to let them know we love them is gone. A nice funeral and beautiful remarks honor the dead, but only speak to the living. We’ve all heard the saying “Give me my ﬂowers while I’m alive.” Show your caring and give affection while it can be felt and appreciated. Again, the time to love is now!
Love can and should be expressed more often, via a phone call, a letter, a text, a card, a hug, a kiss, a smile, a gift, etc… etc… Love moves your heart to do something kind, to seek to make someone happy; to please someone. Love inspires you to do a good thing, to say “I’m sorry”, to do the right thing, etc… etc…
The Bible says a lot about love, notably: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians13:4-8) Love is the most important virtue and a precious gift from God.
We should all recognize that love has enemies to beware of like: hurts, misunderstandings, pain, disappointment, resentment, frustration, anger, loss, stress, distance, failure and blame. All these things can cause you to stop communicating, stop compromising, stop giving, and to stop loving, if you are not careful.
Love needs to be shared while we can do so. It needs to be demonstrated while the object of our affection can hear it, feel it, see it and know that they are loved. Don’t wait until it is too late. Don’t put yourself in a position to feel guilt and regret. The time to love is now!
[Gail Valentine Taylor, M.S.W. gailt@woodsvalentinemortuary. com (626) 798-8941.]