Valentine’s Day: What Is Your Definition of Love?

my worldLeaving a Legacy

Sitting with a gang member, I'm reminded of what love really is. It's a question we all tend to think about around Valentines day, and perhaps the reason we celebrate. It's a day of love. A time to show it, live it, and receive it.

If I brought Amber along to a lunch with friends, people would assume she's an ordinary girl. No one would know her mother abandoned her, and she'd been raised on the streets of Dallas. She's 23, beautiful, with thick wavy brown hair and almond eyes. She could be your sister. Except, that your sister is probably not that lost.

Amber fell through the cracks at about 5, without the typical support and love that our five year olds have. She met a guy in high school who gave her what she thought was love, and they both dropped out of school. Without an adult in her life, she drifted around various homeless shelters, where gangs proliferate. If you're in one, you stand a chance of surviving.

Sitting with Amber, I realize that there's a girl in there just waiting to be loved. We talk about books, about journaling the story of her life, in order to heal. She's soft spoken. A week later I got this email from her:

I've been thinking about a lot of things you said. I still can't believe you spent that time with me, and showed me love. I'm going to finally make major changes to turn my life around.

It amazed me to think of how one brief moment, affected her.

Verbal Communication: The Power of Positive Words

Your words have power. A small moment to you, might be a big one to someone else. You're a leader for your kids, for your friends, for that stranger who has had a bad day. Sometimes you're an example of love and you don't even know it. It's the one currency you have to freely give away.

Everyone knows about romantic love. But what about all the other harder to define kinds of love? We expect love to be given and received in our homes, and with our friends. But it isn't that way for every child, or every adult. Sometimes love is elusive, and we have to search for it. Sometimes we just have to open our hearts and schedule a little, to give it.

Love can be anywhere, even in the most unexpected places.

What can you do to show love this week and to open your heart and let it in?

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I'm a book author, homeschool mom of boys, mountain runner and advocate for the homeless. Founder of Write it Out, a homeless recovery program that teaches writers workshops to the homeless and gang members, in order to focus on using the power of words to restore, recover, and rehabilitate. www.escapesuburbia.wordpress.com

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