Preparing for Valentine’s Day.

That’s how today was traced on my calendar. Didn’t give it enough time, the time it deserved, I know.

Thankfully, I’ve actually been thinking about it for much longer now, with much mahalo, gratitude, to those who unknowingly may have forced the earlier musing upon me.

– I decided to talk about my own love affair with books in our monthly Ho‘ohana.

– I found an absolute steal in a bookstore: Annie Pigeon’s The Complete Love’s Little Instruction Book, marked down to only $1.00. She wrote it to help people “show your love how much you really care, every day, in thousands of big and little ways.”

– I was entrusted with the knowledge that a friend was going to elope on Valentine’s Day and I’m deliriously happy for her.

– I listened to a news story about how a whole retail bonanza has been created for those who strategically merchandise anti-love wares to Valentine’s Day haters. Poor things (the haters.)

– I talk about aloha alot, and I began to talk about it this way: aloha is about welcoming love into your life all year long.

– I think that thought came to me, because this seems to be a time in my life in which I have re-learned to cultivate friendship, investing in those relationships in some different ways than I did before. I’m loving it.

– My mom gave me a whole bag of Milk Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Filled Hearts because she knows it’s my favorite candy.

– In a recent coaching session, all my client wanted to talk about was how Valentine’s Day is, in his opinion, the most stressful day of the year for men: he wanted some coaching from me on how to enjoy it for a change.

– Thinking about that, I happily realized that Valentine’s Day holds absolutely no stress for my husband at all anymore: over the years it’s become much easier to make me happy with much smaller things, things that don’t cost even a penny.

– I happened to read the most wonderful essay by M. Scott Peck, M.D. who wrote Dave’s beloved The Road Less Traveled, in which he talked about affection, friendship, and all the kinds of love that are not romantic love. After reading it, I felt incredibly rich.

– I found the most wonderful quote, for in my mind it connects ho‘ohana (which you know I’m kinda nuts about) with love:

“Effort matters in everything, love included. Learning to love is purposeful work.” — Michael Levine, quoted in Abounding Grace

And then this:
– Waiting for my daughter to get off work last week, I bought more Valentine’s Day cards on impulse than I ever have before. Next to Christmas cards, I’ve always loved to give them. Problem is, a lot of people don’t know how to receive them without questioning their motive. It’s sad when you want to embrace the emotion, but have to buy more generic. I find I buy both kinds, just because I want to.

So this morning for me is for addressing and mailing my Valentines. If you happen to get one from me — or from someone else — please don’t question our motives. Let it be enough to know that someone cares about you. Let it be that simple, and that good. Enjoy the aloha you have been given.

The greatest thing you might do for someone is giving them your gracious acceptance.

I have a challenge for you in these next two days leading up to Valentine’s Day:

“If you’d be loved, be worthy to be loved.” — Ovid

“Love for the joy of loving, and not for the offerings of someone else’s heart. — Marlene Dietrich

This is a time you should be enjoying, scratch that, loving, and I truly hope you do.

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