February 16, 2012

Give gifts from the heart

Posted in Between Us column, Books, Relationships at 1:37 am by dinaheng

Okay. Valentine’s Day is over. But the need to celebrate love is not.

From the moment we’re born, love is what keeps us alive. The love of parents, surrogate parents, and extended family validate our existence long before we start thinking about soul mates and partners for life.

It’s ironic that we had to invent a holiday to remind us to do something nice for those we love. A lot of people bought flowers and chocolate for Valentine’s Day presents, but sharing your heart can be done in so many ways… and should be done every day.

If you’re lucky enough to have living parents, why not call them more often and tell them how much you love them? Unlike a birthday call, you could tell them more about what’s going on in your life, and share the ways in which they’ve taught you the meaning of love.

If you have little ones (or anyone for that matter) who love to read, pick up “Plant A Kiss” written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds ($14.99, HarperCollins). This delightful picture book tells the tale of a little girl who plants a kiss, and watches it grow.

Wherever your significant other is, make your love known. I was sitting in a restaurant waiting for a table one day when I noticed the woman next to me. She was reading a novel, and suddenly burst out with a giggle. When I asked what she was reading, she smiled and said, “A note from my husband. Every now and then, he sneaks a little ‘I love you” reminder in a book I’m reading.”

Ah… be still my heart. Those are the gestures that say “You’re my Valentine” every day.

So often, those of us who are single bemoan the fact that we don’t have a love to call our own. That’s when we need to remember that love doesn’t come from having a ring on our finger, any more than success means living in a bigger house or driving a more expensive car.

The world may form opinions based on what we look like, but having love in our lives depends on how we feel about ourselves inside. And nothing makes the heart grow in its capacity to receive love than giving it to others.

So show the people you love a little extra appreciation more than just now and then… and don’t forget to give a special someone — YOU — a little pampering as well.

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