Valentine’s Day is celebrated each year as the national day of love.   Roses and heart balloons and chocolates adorn the fronts of stores and for one day acts of love are given and received.  Do we need just one day to focus on giving and receiving love?  Shouldn’t every day be a day of receiving and giving love?

The Message version of 1:Corinthians 13:1-7 reads:

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.  If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

The Love that is offered from the One who is unconditional Love sounds pretty constant, guiding, fulfilling and every day, doesn’t it?  I do not know about you but I cannot unconditionally love others if I do not first and foremost receive this kind of Love offered to me.  And from that Love, I then need to love myself as I am worthy, I matter and God desires for me to receive the abundance of His Love every single day.  He loves me, so why not love me as well?  From this Love I then can pour it out onto others.  The hierarchy here enables us to love in the way that is highlighted in 1 Corinthians 13.  Can you imagine a world filled with this kind of love each and every day?

As you prepare to share love with others tomorrow on Valentine’s Day, take a few moments to reflect on what Love is to you, where you receive it from and if you are cultivating self-love before you attempt to pour love out onto others.  So many of my clients come to me depleted, exhausted and burnt out from trying to pour out onto others and forgetting all about receiving love themselves and loving on themselves.   When we slow down, take time to receive Love and in turn love ourselves really well, everything changes; we heal, we find peace, we serve well.  Love truly trumps all else.