One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter. – James Earl Jones
If you need a Valentine’s Day gift idea you don’t need to look far. Web banners, print ads and email offers are plentiful right now. Everything from intimate apparel to sports memorabilia is just a click or telephone call away.
Believe me. After celebrating 29 Valentine’s Days together, Mary Beth and I have bought it all.
Me: Yellow roses, necklaces and spa certificates.
Her: Wine, books and baseball season-opener tickets.
Each gift was thoughtfully selected and enthusiastically received. But over time these gifts have faded away – perhaps not their sentimental value, but certainly their material worth.
Now with almost three decades of celebrating Valentine’s Days under our belts, we also understand the importance of giving gifts that don’t come with a coupon code or expiration date.
These wonderful gifts are the ones that will last a lifetime. These are the gifts that come from the heart and give us hope for lasting love.
Gifts from the heart
If you are in a relationship, you’re probably aware of the concept of giving a gift from the heart. This is a gift that can either be tangible or an action, but is always selected with heartfelt deliberation.
For Valentine’s Day 2013, I would like to start a movement: Let’s give our partners an unforgettable gift from the heart – the gift of saying the words they want to hear.
In my marriage, there are certain words that sound like love when my wife speaks them. Words like these make my heart come alive:
– You are a good father.
– I couldn’t wait to get home to you.
– You don’t have to be perfect to be loved.
– What you do really matters.
– You still do it for me.
– You’re my best friend.
– You make me feel safe.
– I love our life together.
What do you want to hear? What words make your heart come alive? Is it words like…?
– You’re amazing.
– I still love you.
– You’re beautiful.
– You’re more than enough for me.
– I can’t imagine my life without you.
– Happiness is spending this moment with you.
– You are a good man.
– You are an amazing woman.
Let the movement begin
If you would like to join the Valentine’s Day 2013 What Do You Want to Hear? movement, here’s how. It’s simple (so simple there’s no real movement to join – just follow your heart):
Ask your partner what words he or she would like to hear. Try not to be defensive by responding (or thinking), Really? I say that to you all the time.
Maybe you think you are saying the words, but the message isn’t being received. Simply ask, What do you want to hear? and then listen.
In my marriage, our relationship is taken for granted sometimes. It’s not that we are falling out of love, or don’t want to meet the other person’s needs, it’s just that we get busy.
Taking a moment to lift our heads and check in with each other is important. Part of the checking in process is reminding the other of their place in our lives. Yes, actions do speak louder than words, but words are important, too.
Say the words that will touch your wife. Speak the words that will encourage your husband. Make the commitment to say the words every chance you get.
Email the words, text them, leave a note or finger paint the words on a steamed-covered mirror. Shout the words from the rooftop if you want.
Let the words roll up from you soul, stopping at your heart to gather momentum before speaking them with passionate precision.
Say the words in the morning. Say them as you whisper, “Good night.” Say them as often as you like.
When you do, enjoy the beautiful smile. Watch your love shine a little brighter. Feel the connection grow tighter. Open your heart and get ready to ready to receive your gift. What you want to hear comes next.