Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Ultimate Free Valentine's Gift for Him...(or Her): A Simple Act of Kindness for that Special Someone

14 Days of Loving-Kindness: Day 13 - Your Spouse/Partner/Rock/Everything

Finding the perfect Valentine's Day gift for that special someone can be challenging or, as is the case with my husband and I, can feel a little irrelevant. We're not really "presents" people. 

Still, it is nice this time of year to take a moment to acknowledge that special someone. In the midst of the 14 Days of Loving-Kindness Challenge, I somehow stumbled upon an awesome, kick-ass (free) gift for my husband -- if I can truly pull it off.

What is it? Two words: forgiveness and release (for those of you with dirty minds, I'm not thinking of that kind of release). 

Truth: Even the best couples can hold on to old hurts, can let resentments -- even nonsensical and silly resentments -- take hold, can find themselves taking their partner for granted. 

At the end of a long day at home with the kids, who is the person that receives a snappy response to a simple question? 

     Our spouse. 

In the midst of toddler meltdown #3, who is the person we're jealous of? 

     Our spouse. 

We let it fester. We envision the wonderful day at work that person is having -- interacting with other adults, doing important stuff, sitting in a quiet office. 

And, we forget about all of the days that our spouse is stuck sitting in traffic, listening to adults they don't really want to be listening to, or dealing with other people's kids instead of getting to have time with their own. 

We don't remember that our spouse has also not slept through the night in weeks and has a horrible backache, but still must carry heavy things, show up on time, be coherent, while we just have to be able to relate to a preschooler and can (on a good day) take a nap with the kids -- or at least take a moment for ourselves while they nap or are at school. 

We can resent their job, not realizing that sometimes they are jealous of our time with the children. We can realize, in the midst of a stupid argument at the end of a long day after one of those sleepless nights, that we've brought up that one thing from years ago that actually DOES NOT REALLY MATTER. 

We're holding on to an old hurt, and here's the truth about holding on to the past -- 

Take it from someone who knows, from someone who held on to a deep hurt for decades and has felt such a huge wave of release since extending love and compassion to a person who hurt me deeply. I'm now beginning to see a rainbow that is only there because I started to forgive and let go.

As 14 Days of Loving-KIndness draws to a close, I find myself arriving at a deep, new understanding of how valuable compassion is. I am extremely grateful that I selected compassion as my guiding word for 2014. I've managed to realize that treating my spouse with compassion everyday -- and especially at the end of the most difficult days -- is absolutely the greatest Valentine's Day gift I can give him. 

In fact, I realize that it is a gift that benefits my entire family. 

Release. Forgive. Connect. Understand. 

So much of what we hold on to is actually our own stuff and has nothing to do with anyone else, so why keep pretending that it does just to protect ourselves? We'll be doing everyone a favor if we just let it all go. 

Let's extend some compassion to those we love this week. Even better, let's make it a daily habit. I'm starting a new tradition this year for Valentine's Day that I hope to act upon every single day, and I couldn't be happier about it. #TrueLove #RAKWeek #OperationNiceFebruary #Compassion2014 

I know this won't be easy and that there will probably be days I will slip, but I've made myself this simple note that I plan to keep in eyesight at home to help me remember this promise I've made to my husband, my family and myself. 

P.S. I love the act of loving-kindness the boys have made for Daddy. I'll be sharing it soon as post #2 for Day 13. 

You might also like:
Sending Love to Haiti
Little Hands Can Help
Love for our Household
Loving Ourselves


  1. You nailed it! I am sooooo guilty of those snippy comments (usually in my head) but they really do fester.... I need to stop and think of all the blessings my spouse brings us instead.

  2. I have really enjoyed this series on your blog - so thoughtful.