Sometimes this week is hard for people. And I get it!. Even when I was in the sixth grade, I can remember how painful if was for me. I look back on it in a funny sort of way, but nevertheless there is still a twinge of pain and hurt that I feel when I think of the story. But, even in some chapters of my life, I have to remember that things that seem bad or sad have made me who I am today. It all depends on how I use them in my life to help me grow.
Let me share a love story with you….
You know how it is: You’re 11 or 12 years old and the hormones are flowing throughout your body like Niagara Falls. Your mood is up and the next moment it is down. You have a boy in the class that you wish would recognize that you are alive. Instead, when it comes to picking people to be on his kickball team, you’re the last one he chooses. He has to choose you, because you’re the last one left. But at least you’re on his team of this super jock! Wow!
Then you go in from recess to have the long awaited Valentine’s Day Party. Then you see it. The valentine that he gives you. You open it and you see the word “love” on it. So exciting, that maybe he really likes you. And then you tell him thank you for the great valentine.
And he says, “You know why I gave you that valentine?” And I wait almost breathlessly for him to tell me that he really likes me. And then he says, “The reason I gave you that valentine is because it had an elephant on it and you are as big as an elephant.” And then all of his friends laugh and you smile and turn and go away.
And as you go through the coming years, you wonder if there will ever be any one who can love someone that is as big as an elephant like me. I almost exaggerated my size in my mind because that is the way I saw myself growing up. I believed the lie that I was a big fat nobody and could never amount to anything.
And then one day, I met a boy that was as skinny as I was fat. Neither of us could share that we were self conscience about ourselves with each other until we were well into our marriage. It was as painful for him as it was for me. This guy made me feel like I was normal and even “special” to someone. He made me feel like I could succeed in whatever I did. He had so much confidence in me and I was equally as sure about his capabilities.
And so we got married!
But one day I decided to lose weight after a traumatic experience with a doctor. And after I lost all of my weight, guess what people began to tease me about? They said I was too skinny and anorexic, and laughed at the shape of my rear end. The same feelings returned. My mother gave me a little book that was so helpful to me. It was titled, “The story of a little fat girl.” It was my life story, because this little girl who (it seemed) everyone made fun of for being fat, was then made fun of for being thin after she lost weight. The moral of the story was: Don’t be distracted by criticism.
“Remember the only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you.”
But the man I married, did not love me any more when I was thin, than when I was large. He accepted me for who I was and not for the way I looked. He loved the true me and who I was inside this skin. I could never repay him for the way he has made me feel.
Do we have tough times in our marriage. Absolutely!!! We’re both type-a personalities. Both of us are stubborn and headstrong. But in spite of the fact that so many people said our marriage would never last, we’ve been married almost 49 years.
And so this week of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to honor him for all that he does for me. Not just with the confidence he has in me, but all of the work he does for the business. He is incredible.
So maybe you do not have someone that has been that to you. But think of someone who has helped you through times in your life that no one else could help you through. Then turn it into an action. Send them a note, call them or just connect with them and tell them what they did for you in your life right at a time you needed a hero. Better yet, you be someone’s hero.
Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers. It is for honoring those you love or who have shown an act of kindness to you. Bless them for blessing you.
And as the song by Whitney Houston says, I say to my dear husband, “I will always love You!”
P.S. The First Spring event is March 26 – 30. Hope you can come!