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Before the Christmas decorations are down the Valentine’s Day hearts are out, and we rush from Jingle Bells to Open Hearts jewelry.
I was thinking about how most of us race around trying to find that perfect card and gift when all of us have the perfect gift — our hearts. And we have that perfect gift all the time, not just in February.
Is that not where love grows, in our hearts?
Travel with me on a journey of love, starting by taking a moment to think about your first love.
Mine was in the first grade, in Mrs. Gentry’s class at Bardstown Elementary School. I was involved in an interracial relationship and did not realize it. My heart told me I was crazy about this little blond curly-haired, blue-eyed boy who sat to my left every day. I tried my best to be where he was most of the time. It was so sad he did not even know I existed. So, one day, I took it upon my aggressive self to grab him and kiss him. Man, did I feel good. But to my dismay he did not, and he started to cry.
His dad still reminds me to this day that I ruined his son. So much for first love. Rule No. 1: Make sure the other party likes you, too.
As time moves us from childhood crushes to adult love interests, we still might question what love really is. I think you know you are in love when that special person occupies your thoughts on a more-than-regular basis. It is like you can peer deep into his or her soul and see all that lingers in the chambers of that person’s heart. During the ’70s, in the comic section of the newspaper, there was a “Love is…” column which spoke of love as being warm and fuzzy, taking your breath away and one day becoming Mr. and Mrs.
When the love bug hits, there is nothing like it. I can remember being in my dorm room, at Western Kentucky University, late at night with a couple of my girlfriends, listening to albums on a portable record player. We would play over and over again, “I Call Your Name, and There’ll Never Be,” by an R & B group called Switch. Those songs got us through some extremely lonely nights, because we could not be with the ones we loved at that particular time.
The voice of love is always calling to us. The voice of love wants us to be connected to another, it wants our hearts to skip a beat when we see that someone in the distance, it wants us to honor that other person in our lives with truth and honesty and it wants us to be consistent in our feelings.
I would say, in all our lives, love has failed us a time or two, whether it be outgrown relationships, betrayal, death, or emotional or physical abuse. Do we give up or do we give love another try? I say do it until you get it right.
All along, to love and be loved, we all must do one very important thing. Be in charge of loving ourselves.
Until next month, XOXO.
Shonna Sheckles works in Elizabethtown and lives in Bardstown. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.