A few years ago, I discovered this poem by Pam Brown, called The Gift. I loved it the moment I read it and have since presented it at one of my best friend’s wedding. On the surface, it seems like a love poem to someone’s dearly beloved. And it is that. But consider this also: perhaps it is a love poem to oneself.
So many times, when we consider Valentine’s Day, we think of couples pairing up. Of romantic escapades and candlelit dinners and unrealistic promises. But some of us don’t have a significant other, either by our own choice, or someone else’s. Or by circumstances beyond our control. Some of us don’t want a romantic involvement. Others want it but are too frightened to go for it.
No matter what level of involvement with other people you have in your life, one person you should definitely be showering with love is yourself. Try reading the poem and imagining that she is speaking to herself, about herself.
The Gift by Pam Brown
In you are flowers and firelight,
stars and songbirds,
the scent of summer,
the stillness just before dawn.
I love you today,
dressed in glory.
I will love you always-
dancing, singing, reading, making, planning, arguing.
I will love you cantankerous, and tired,
courageous and in terror,
joyful, fearful and triumphant.
I will love you through all weathers and all change.
For all you are is precious to me.
And every day I live with you
and share your love
is a gift to me.
It is important that we take care of ourselves because, if we don’t love ourselves, we can never fully love anyone else. Nor can we show others that we deserve to be loved.
In my humble opinion, the feelings we share on Valentine’s Day should come alive every day of the year in the way we treat those precious to us. Those activities should not be saved for special occasions or packed away until next year. As the great James Taylor wrote, “Shower the people you love with love. Show them the way that you feel.” I agree completely.
Valentine’s Day this year would be a good time to begin. So spend time with your children. Do that extra special something for your significant other. Visit your parents. Take dinner to your crabby old neighbor. It takes so little to make people feel special. And practice self-love. You deserve it.
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day, make it a good one!