Wendy Sue Noah's multiple family photosOh, that title sounds LOVE-ly, yes?!  But what do I really mean here, besides sharing my hippie (not religious) ‘love thy neighbor as yourself’ mentality?

As a single parent, with no romantic partner for over a decade, Valentine’s Day and the concept of love has taken on an entirely new shape for me – one that is ever more encompassing and one that does not leave me feeling incomplete or resentful for not having a partner to share it with.

It is the kind of love that keeps growing, expanding and revealing itself to me throughout my everyday life.It started with my first child, then my second, and then by the third, I thought my heart was going to burst!  How can I love these children that God blessed me with so very much?  I honestly did not know pure love like this, as the love I knew up to this point had conditions, expectations and demands.

Being on both sides – from a carefree non-parent professional, to an inundated parent professional, I have to admit that we parents are so very gifted with the kind of unconditional love that brings our planet together.  This is exactly what is going to save us from ourselves!  And we’ve got the key.

If turmoil and chaos shakes you up, and you temporarily forget the greatest love of all, stop for a moment and look at your child(ren), or a picture of them, or just close your eyes and see them in your imagination.  Take this moment to really FEEL the pure love, from you to them.  Then the chaos becomes, well, less chaotic, yes?

Wendy Sue Noah's force of love

Now that I’ve got this “love on steroid” five times over, I need to share it as much as I need my life-breath.  And when times are challenging, which is a lot of the time, I try to remind myself to turn to this place of unconditional love, and the rest will, in time, pass by.

Love is the constant, the unifier.

The funny thing about trying to stay in this “love mode,” is that when I fall out, or maybe get distracted, the Universe reminds me with hearts all over the place!  Look and you, too, will also see the signs.  From a heart-shaped chive in my Vietnamese noodle soup (see pic), to a heart-shaped bleach stain that coincidentally formed on my kitchen towel (see pic), to even a candy wrapper that I was sweeping up!  One of my friends teased me, saying that I am the only person she knows that can find a heart shape in trash!

Wendy Sue Noah's chive heart

I also allow myself to feel the love through a gentle breeze on my face and through my hair – which I believe is God’s caress.  Or, when I need new tires for my car but can’t afford new ones,  and the local tire shop sets me up with very affordable used ones.  Just like that.

Now that you get my gist, where am I going here?

Look all around you.  This place called Earth is in disarray.  Do we really want our children to grow up in a place where “haters” are considered cool, where there are school shootings and a horrendous level of bullying / cyber-bullying, where our Mother Earth is deteriorating before our very eyes, as we are losing entire animal races to extinction, like African elephants for their ivory (due to greed, not love), or the precious bees that pollinate our crops and provide food for many, due to the unwarranted use of pesticides (lack of concern, not love).

Wendy Sue Noah's V-Day dish rag

Hope I’ve stirred your love pot some here ‘cause I’ve got an action item for you!  After Valentine’s Day, let’s share this precious love that we parents have been blessed with, beyond our kids and partners.  Pick someone, particularly someone who may not expect your display of affection, and give them a heartfelt hug.  Or, if you can’t see them, call them, text them, email them, Facebook them, whatever!  Just make sure your compassionate display is from the heart, not out of obligation or pity or any of that negative stuff that takes away from pure love.

Then turn your love focus to something that cannot give you something back, at least in the human sense.  So whether it is a plant, a tree, an animal, a bird flying overhead or an insect that crawls by you, stop for a moment and give it some of that love.  It will feel it, and you will both feel uplifted.  That’s what love does to us.

As Tina Turner wails out, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” I reply, “EVERTHING!”

If love is not in the mix, then what is the point?

Please share this year’s love offerings below in the comment section, and keep it flowing.  The more we share, the more we care, the more we all benefit together, including our children and our children’s future.

Thank you, LOVE you!