WAIT! I hear you say - it's not Valentine's Day yet, it's only February 7th; Valentine's Day is next Saturday, February 14th. Of course, you are dead right, but I hadn't actually forgotten, I just don't always like to be conventional, so I'm celebrating my personal Valentine's Day today, with a blog, as well as next Saturday also, of course.
Now, to Christians, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of their Saviour. Yes, it is true that it has been high-jacked to a large extent by commercial interests, but would you honestly tell a Christian they shouldn't celebrate their faith, just because their special day has been used as a marketing tool? Similarly Easter where they celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. What right do we have to criticize their decision to celebrate a day that to many is just about chocolate, bunnies, and eggs?
Mother's Day is another day that people will point to and say - "See, it was just invented to sell things to people". Again, that may be true, but does that diminish in any way our love and respect for our Mothers? Of course it doesn't. What it does, is it gives us an opportunity, in our increasingly busy lives - to stop for a second and remember and celebrate one of the most important people in our lives; the woman that gave birth to us.
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I would say that if you don't tell and show the person you love, at every opportunity you have; that you love, care, respect and appreciate them, then you are missing out on one of the great opportunities in your relationship. I am a great believer in the idea that what you put out into the Universe - you also get back. All great philosophies and religions espouse this idea; I truly believe that "You reap what you sow" and that "Karma" is a very real and active force in our world.
If I express positive, loving thoughts and attitudes - not just to my loved ones, but to everyone in general, then I will receive positive, loving thoughts and attitudes back. It's not rocket science, but the reality is that we have been programmed to believe: "to expect nothing, and you won't be disappointed"; "that there's no such thing as a free lunch"; "that everyone is out to get you"; and "that there's a sucker born every minute". I personally reject all cynicism and CHOOSE to live my life positively and with purpose - and no I'm not naive. I used to be one of the greatest of all the cynics - but where did that get me? Well that's a story for another day - but needless to say it wasn't a terribly nice place.
In the last four years I have rediscovered the simple joys of life, of discovery and of dreaming as I often did as a child. The ability to dream wasn't lost - it was still there, but I had to make a conscious decision to begin using it again. I had to CHOOSE to enjoy my life. So many of us CHOOSE to struggle and to not enjoy life.
One of the greatest revelations for me personally, from science, is that we human beings are literally composed of "star dust". We have, within us, everything that the cosmos is composed of. This revelation led me to understand that we, as humans, are much more powerful creatures than we ever gave ourselves credit for. Everything that we feel in our lives is a direct result of our own choices! It is true that bad things do happen to people - but that is the joy and agony of living in a world of duality; where there is an opposite to everything. What matters always, is how we react and deal with the trials and tribulations that will strike us from time to time. One of the greatest pieces of advice and insight on life that I ever came across is what is known as the "Serenity Prayer". It is used by, and altered to suit the circumstances, of organisations all over the world, but at its core is an awesome philosophy to live by:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference;"
What an immensely powerful affirmation. I may not be a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffett, and I may not be able to change the world with my wealth; but I can change one person; ME and by changing me I influence the lives of countless others around me. If we all adopted the simple philosophy of only focusing on "what we CAN change", wouldn't this world be a so much better place?"
Returning then to the topic. So, what will I be doing to celebrate my Valentine's Day - today and next Saturday also? Well, for one thing there will be no "material" gifts (Darling - please note! You see - I do know she reads my blogs), but there will be endless love, joy and a lot of cuddling. Who knows I might even get "lucky".
Seriously though, Valentine's Day for me is important because it crystallizes and focuses everything that I feel for this amazing woman that I was lucky enough to meet and marry.
I suppose if there was a gift to give this Valentine's Day it would be this blog itself. I'm not going to kid myself that it will be read by thousands of people, but even if only one person reads it all the way through, they cannot fail to feel and to understand the depth of my love for my wife.
So, I have left my Valentine's Day present to you Thess, until the end of this blog on the basis that the truly magnificent jewels have to be mined - they're rarely found on the surface.
When we first discovered each other Thess, I was already lost, lonely, depressed and in despair at what the remaining years of my life might hold. There were times when I genuinely wondered; what the hell was the point in going on. And then I met you!
I knew, within a minute of our first conversation that there was something special, something incredibly unique about you. Maybe there is such a thing as "love at first sight" - who knows, what I did know those first few minutes was that this was someone I desperately wanted to get to know better. And then I met you!
We struggled through those early difficult times of discovery, of surprise, of language difficulties, of misunderstandings but also through the times of joy, of pleasure and of connection. And then I met you!
I knew, that very first second I saw your loving smile, I touched you, and I held you in my arms that this was the absolute right choice for me. All the doubts and all the lingering insecurities were swept away in the sound of your voice and the music of your laughter. And then I met you!
Almost four years ago you took me into your home, you took me into your family and you showed me and taught me how to love again - how to embrace life with that incredibly passionate zest and joy that emanates from within you. People kept telling me you were special - I began to see why. And then I met you!
We have had the most amazing four years together and I know we will have many more. However long we are destined to be together on this earth, you have already taught me so much about myself, about how to truly love and about happiness. I have learnt more in these four years than in the past fifty one. You brought me back to life honey. And then I met you!
We have a relationship that daily fills me with wonder. I think I have probably always loved you Thess - I just hadn't met you before now. Soul-mate is such a cliched phrase, and yet it seems the only phrase that aptly describes what you are to me. And then I met you!
You are my life, my love, my reason to wake up in the morning - I couldn't imagine a day without your beauty, your care, your love and your just simply being, as part of my life. And then I met you!
Thank you my precious, darling wife. I love you with every fiber of my being. And then I met you!
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY SWEETHEART - Not just today, but everyday for eternity!
AND THEN I MET YOU!