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February 14, 2005 [ More archived home pages here ]

Messages of the Heart

Another Valentine's Day arrives today. My memories of my long and wonderful marriage support the warm love I hold for my wife, Sherry. In April we will be married for 32 years and each year adds to the love we share together.

I know today is hard for many people and this holiday is not always welcomed by them. Broken hearts abound because someone wasn't as true as they could be to another. Maybe a heart is broken because their loved one passed away. Maybe someone longs to be in-love, but has never experienced that emotion in full measure. Give them an expression of understanding and comfort if you encounter them today. A smile offered to them does wonders.

I have no idea what the ratio is of people happy to see this holiday arrive and those who despise its romantic reminders. Many people like to hide their emotions. In the American culture we are raised not to express emotions openly. I never did acquire that restriction in my personality. It must be the incurable romantic in me that isn't reluctant to express emotion publicly. All my life I've kissed and hugged in public those I've loved.

There was a time when I was young when this holiday was my first open expression of love to another. She was my first love and I gave away my heart too easily back then. I didn't know then that my true love for her wasn't returned by her in the same way I sent mine. It was an important yet painful lesson to accept when the truth emerged.

That part of my life was my first step towards finding someone who would respond in-kind to my love. Years later and after another better, though failed romance, I met and later fell in love with Sherry. We have a faithful love and it grows as we age together.

Giving your heart away should not be the act of a reckless encounter or the anxious response to the whims and desires of the flesh. It's too easy to be taken-in if you act that way, much too easy for the truly romantic soul. Most people who learn about love that way, will never forget the experiences, and the lessons.

I'm a big believer that all things in life happen to us for a reason. The reason may not always be known or unveiled to you. We can learn from every experience whether it was good or bad. If it was bad, we can be in a position to help another person we encounter that travels a similar path. If the experience was good, then rejoice in the time that feeling lasts.

I regard Valentine's Day as a time to remind myself that I'm still standing. My marriage is still standing strong. There is nothing from my life I need to forget, to rearrange for comfort, or deny the application of wisdom learned from past events. May it be the same for you.

I love you, Sherry!

Don


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