Love Actually IS All Around

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think of the Arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy. But it’s always there.
Fathers and sons.
Mothers and daughters.
Husbands and wives.
Boyfriends.
Girlfriends.
Old friends.
When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge. They were messages of love.
If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling that love actually …. IS …. all around.

Love Actually

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It’s Valentine’s Day. The day in February that men and singles have grown to despise. The day when we’re supposed to shower our significant other with gifts and love.

I have held the opinion a long time that holidays are barely any different than any other day of the year. My sometimes grumpy scrooge self says they are all man-made holidays meant to push the economy forward. But the more thought I gave to these holidays, the more I began to see their significance.

We are all creatures of habit. Our brains are hardwired to create—and keep—the same daily habits day after day after day. Eventually we can basically sleepwalk through our lives without even so much as a speedbump until something comes along and jolts us out of our slumber.

Holidays help do exactly that. They help us remember what we so easily forget.

Valentine’s Day is all about love. I can’t imagine anyone having any objections to remembering the love they have in their life. Not just one single love, but ALL the love they are surrounded by.

Sure, our society portrays Valentine’s Day as a “couple’s” holiday. I get that. But to me it’s so much more.

When I am jolted out of sleepwalking through my daily routine, otherwise known as my life, I take a few minutes to reflect about what really matters to me. Instantly, without a doubt my mind turns to my children. Their lives fill my heart with more pride than anything else on this earth. Sure, they’re teenagers and they have different ideas than I do sometimes. But truth be told, I learn just as much from them as they do from me. They each possess so much wisdom and a deep knowing more than they realize.

When I think about Valentine’s Day and when I think about love, there is so much that comes flooding into my mind. I have literally been walking around throughout the day pondering what love is to me.  When I think about love, I think about ……

…… Sharing this adventure of life with my wife. We have both been learning and growing so much over the years. I’m blessed to be married to a partner who isn’t afraid of the growing pains.

…… My parents who just celebrated their 50th Anniversary last August. I could sit and listen to their stories for hours of all the crazy, amazing, funny, sad, silly, emotional events they have been a part of over the years.

…… My friends Owen and Cara. To me, their love and their lives are a perfect example of what love truly is. Sure, their lives are full of many ups and downs. But the one constant that never waivers in their large home is the presence of love. No matter what life throws at them, love actually IS all around them.

…… My amazing Aunt who recently lost her husband. She may not realize it, but she is one of my heroes in life. Her vulnerability and bravery has been something that helped shape the man I am today. Every single time I have visited with her over the years, she quickly bypassed the surface talk and spoke to me straight from her heart. She loves deeply and shares honestly.

…… My friend Joanne who always loves me unconditionally and offers me so much wisdom. Our friendship is full of so much mutual admiration and respect. We love to co-create together and our hearts are always refreshed every chance we have to connect.

…… My nephew and his husband. These two beautiful souls continue to show me year after year that love knows no color or gender. Love is love is love. It’s breathtaking to witness and I’m honored to be a part of their lives.

…… My “extra” siblings I was blessed with since a young age. Bob and Robin have been a constant in my life since I was just a kid. They continue to show me love and support as if I was their relative by blood. And Jenny became the little sister I never had. Even though we haven’t kept in touch as often as we’d like over the miles and the years, we are both deeply affected today by the close bond we have always shared.

…… Several of my close friends who have been enduring different struggles. They are the brave ones. They trusted me with their struggles and were vulnerable about what they were going through. Vulnerability is the soil where genuine love can grow between friends.

…… Myself. You may laugh, but many people struggle with themselves. I am truly blessed to have established a wonderful relationship with myself. I spent several years pushing through an ugly depression (and we all know the high price that depression makes some people pay). Thankfully for me the heavy cloud lifted and now I continue to find ways to amaze myself and live in awe every day.

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So, it’s Valentine’s Day. Whether you have someone to call your valentine or not, I hope today can serve as a reminder to you of all the love you have in your life.

If you have a Valentine, show them your love.  But also ponder on all the other love in your life as well.

If you’re single, think about all the people you’re surrounded by and, if you look, you will see that love actually …. IS …. all around.

 

Peace my Friends!

 

~Travis

 

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