I have to admit I kind of hate Valentine’s Day, and I think that the fact that I’ve never actually had a Valentine has something to do with it. Anyways, it doesn’t really matter why. But any holiday that makes you feel inferior because you don’t have a sweetheart kind of sucks.
I’ve never had a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. In fact I’ve only had one date, and that was rather forgettable. Maybe one day I’ll tell the story, but it’s late and I am very tired. I spent the day dealing with one obtuse man, and trying to explain to my best friend why it is that I don’t believe in all that true love crap (which was partially brought on by the obtuseness I’d just had to deal with). He told me not to give up hope in finding love.
That kind of love has never happened to me. It’s easy to say “Don’t give up hope” when you have some. But I’ve never had much hope for that stuff, and the way things went today, it is dwindling even faster. Whenever I get my hopes up, they always get dashed.
But then I spent some time with my little brother. He’s not really my little brother in the blood sense, but he’s the one I’ve picked. I realized that he (along with my best friend) are the only two grown men outside my family that have ever said the words “I love you” to me. I’ve never had a boyfriend say that.
So, we talked about a lot of things tonight, including the meaning of “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” What does laying down one’s life really mean? Does it mean dying for them? Because you can say you’re willing to die for your friends, but really, would anyone expect to have to? That promise is almost never tested.
I believe laying down your life for your friends really means giving up your rights for others. Like when I work towards a friend’s happiness, even if it means sacrificing my own (which has happened very recently). Like when a friend decides to spend an evening listening to me whine because I’ve had a horrible day. (And oddly enough the two guys who got to hear me whine today are the two that have told me they love me. This is love in action!) All of that is laying down your life for your friends.
In that way, I have come to realize just how much love I do have in my life. Yes, it’s not the same as the romantic kind, and I would like that. But in reality, this love is the greater kind. I would not trade it for anything.