Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Valentines

I love my family. My husband, my kids, my extended family. I am blessed to have so much love and fun in my life. I have been telling Ava for years (and I'm just starting in on William) to choose her marriage partner with the utmost care and attention, as that decision will inform the daily quality of her life, for better or for worse. I believe that emotionally healthy people attract the same type of people, and the reverse is also true. If you are struggling with your identity and self esteem, you will tend to bring people into your life who are at the same level, and then you open yourself up to an unhealthy relationship built on manipulation and control. Building a strong identity, supported by confidence in yourself, is the single best thing my kids can do for themselves to ensure healthy friends and a great marriage partner. With every breath I have I will encourage them in this vein so they can find what I have found: a good and true spouse who is loyal, loving and honest. Our relationship is a safe haven in a turbulent world.

I met Jason at a huge Pentecostal church young adult gathering in Vancouver in 1996. We hit it off immediately, flirted a little, and exchanged phone numbers. In one of our early conversations, he mentioned that he had just graduated, and I asked him from which University. When he said, "High school," I just stared blankly at him. I was 23 and he was 18. That's a big age difference at that point in life. He has always looked older than he is. I told myself we would still have a date, it would be a summer fling and nothing more. On our first real date, steak dinner at the Keg and an abysmal movie (The Truth About Cats & Dogs), we just clicked. It was instant, and it didn't take long for me to realize that it wasn't going to be a fling. I was falling fast, and hard, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Love is a miracle, in any form. It combats negativity, breeds hope and joy. You learn about love in your family of origin, for better or worse, and you continue to understand it throughout your life. I fell hard for Jason, and felt the same overwhelming, weak-in-the-knees emotion when I stared at my newborn baby's faces in the hospital. It grabs you, takes root somewhere deep in your soul, and never lets go of you. In its purest form, love connects and heals. That's why it's so important to work on your emotional health, to own it and improve it, so that when love comes to find you, it's possible to surrender completely to it. If you hold part of yourself back, you won't appreciate the full benefits of what love can offer you. Abandon is required, but you must abandon to the right person, and be able to make that choice from a healthy place.

Happy Valentine's Day. I wish for everyone to find love in their life today. Friends, family, neighbours, workplace buddies. Love is all around if you look for it and open yourself to its possibilities. We are heading to Canmore today for a 2 night getaway with my mom and the kids. I look forward to celebrating Valentine's Day and Family Day with those I love.

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