The Valentine’s Day Challenge

everystockphoto_758651_oYes, it's quickly approaching.  That day where we want to publicly be affirmed that we are loved, loveable, celebrated, wanted, adored, cherished and somebody's.  So often a disappointing day for so many.  If you are the person who loves Valentine's Day more than any other holiday and you can't get enough of swimming around in the love you have for your honey and all of the creative ways that you can express it, well, this challenge might NOT be for you.  But if you think Valentine's Day could possibly be something more than the celebration of how loved someone else can make YOU feel, then this challenge is for you.  
This challenge is to simply think about LOVE from a bigger perspective.  And by bigger, I mean bigger than you and yours.  For years this holiday was a painful reminder that I had not yet been chosen.  For some it is a painful reminder that the one who chose them has now chosen somebody else.  For some it is a lonely day without the one they have lost.  It can be an empty confusing day of grief, anger and pain.  But it's supposed to be about love?  Yes, it is supposed to be about love!  For everybody.  EVERY-body.  This challenge is asking you to consider those who we typically don't consider on this day.  
So if you accept my challenge, single people you will have to STOP thinking about how single you are on Valentine's Day this year.  Dating folks, get out of your honeymoon phase bubble and consider sprinkling that love around a little.  And married people, you will have to STOP thinking about how lousy, mediocre or fantastic your spouse is.  You will have to stop lamenting over the love you wish you had, wish he/she did differently or wished you had found sooner because it's so amazing.  You will have to GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WORLD and make an attempt to consider how this day might be affecting somebody else's.  
There is no right or wrong way to participate in this challenge.  A few ideas, however:  
1.  Young couples do something for an older couple.  
2.  Celebrate and recognize the love of your mother, a teacher or a pastor.   
3.  Invite your single friend over and instead of having them babysit so you can leave, cook them dinner.  
4.  Visit your widowed neighbor or send a card to someone you know gets lonely.  
5.  Take heart shaped cookies to the ER waiting room in your town and sit with some worried hearts.   
6.  Go to your local nursing home and hold some beautiful crooked hands.  
7.  Go hand out gloves or scarves to homeless folks who are cold.  
8.  Offer to babysit for the couple you know is struggling or the friends who have foster children.   
Participate with your kids so that they can give and express love in ways they hadn't thought of.  Make it more than store bought cards and another reason to get candy.  Heck, do stuff ALL week long! Spread the love!  
Footnote:  It' is important to celebrate the love you have cultivated with your somebody.  But maybe you could do that when dinner at a nice restaurant doesn't require a two hour wait and roses aren't unnecessarily expensive!
If you accept the challenge here's how it works:
1.  Please use the 'leave a reply' link at the top of this article to tell me about the stories, the events, the feelings, the photos, the results so I can share the results of our challenge. 
3.  Have fun loving and celebrating love!  Happy Happy Valentine's Day!

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