Love is in the air… February 14 is almost upon us. Partners and aspiring partners are making efforts to secure what they consider to be meaningful expressions of love reduced into chocolate and flowers.
Many women and girls are waiting eagerly to see how their significant others will affirm their love and affection for them on the day set aside for the expression of love. A few who are unsure of the affection or intentions of their would-be partners, wait with a great deal of trepidation, hoping that their dreams are not based on their own desires and imagination, but on requited love.
Yet others place their hope in the day, and pray hard that by night’s end, they would be wearing a ring, promising marriage.
Indeed, February is suddenly the month of love, and its associations make it arguably, the most favoured month.
But let us backtrack to January, or move forward to the month of March and the months following, when all the Valentine roses, however well kept, would have withered, chocolates would be long eaten, red hearts would have been stored away, and cards as well as ecards would be long forgotten.
How do we express our love to persons within our sphere of influence, especially to people we call our partners or significant others?
Dear sister, outside the chocolate month’s frenzy which seizes your imagination and colours your deeds, do you ever stop to deliberately cultivate a kind thought about your husband or significant other?
Have you ever taken the time to live in his shoes, to try to understand his many “unforgivable” shortcomings?
When did you last decide that you would love him warts and all, despite how imperfect he has turned out to be?
When was the last time you chose to cut your significant other some slack in the face of the mounting evidence of his feet of clay?
On a day to day basis, what is your response to the discovery (every woman makes this at some point), that the man you thought was all that, was in fact, just a human being, subject to like passions as yourself, and in fact sometimes less intelligent than yourself?
What is your response to the selfishness you see your partner display so often without a care for your feelings?
All these shortcomings and deficiencies are real, and if your reaction is to complain, hit back, or reject him, your actions will be justifiable, anchored on faults that are difficult to ignore.
But there is a better way, which in the end will reap greater results than the momentary satisfaction of getting your own back.
You can choose to love him, not only on February 14, and the days leading to that day (which amazingly has as many hours as all other days).
Love is a choice.
It may be dictated by the actions of the object of your affection, or it may not, but it most certainly is a decision you must take, to show that other person, some patience in your dealings and reactions to his foibles, and some kindness, even though he hardly deserves it.
Everybody deserves some kindness, and a large measure of patience.
You are able to live with yourself in spite of some dastardly deeds you are not proud of, because you learn to excuse yourself, or even to forgive yourself.
In that same spirit, however difficult it may be to live down the wrong choices of your partner and still relate well with him, remember to extend the patience and kindness you would so desperately plead for, if you had been the offending party.
Love is an act of your own will. It need not be based on your emotions, your sense of justice, or because your partner deserves it, but because you choose to be generous in spirit.
You will be surprised when your generosity of spirit will reap a like benefit - when you also need pages of your life blacked out.
“Though much is taken, much abides.” -from Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson