By Marnita Coleman
Special to AFRO

Happy Valentine’s Day Family! Love is in the air, can’t you feel it? Everywhere I look, roses and red colored hearts bombard the landscape. The malls are decorated in its finest array of valentine memorabilia to entice the least suspecting patron to engage in the celebration of love.

Mahatma Ghandi was famously quoted as saying “Where there is love, there is life!”  Oh, how appropriate for the occasion. My heart trembles with emotion as I write these words considering the millions of people that will seize the moment to remind those nearest them of the endless love that reverberates in their hearts.  

Sadly, there are those who will shun the day, pull down the shades and stay in bed. Their hearts are filled with contempt and pain. You see, they are hurting inside. They don’t even remember all the details of what happened to cause the ache. What they do recall is the certainty of the pain and the person(s) associated with it.

This AFRO archive shows a young Robert Martin, 3, operating a water fountain for Sue Carroll Green, also 3, before taking his own turn at the fountain.

They don’t think anything strange about spending Valentine’s Day binge watching their favorite Netflix series alone. In fact, they happily boast about their plans of seclusion and self-indulgence of chocolates. However, folks in their environment see things differently, knowing there is something inherently wrong, which is evident in the way they behave and respond to others.  

I have found unforgiveness to be a culprit to this type of behavior.  Here’s a Valentine’s Day wish for anyone whose heart is entangled in past hurts: give the gift of forgiveness.

It’s a new season and a new decade. It’s time to move on and embrace our future. Folks have done you wrong, point blank. Forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing.  I am not saying they weren’t conscious of their evil. I am saying they do not know how to accept you for who you are. When people don’t understand you, instead of acknowledging that, they go within themselves and pull from the fragments of their own brokenness and limited knowledge to form an opinion, which is often an inaccurate picture. They can’t see your greatness, so please do not hold them accountable.  

Today, forgive them and let them off the hook. They no longer owe you an apology or an explanation. Grant them grace, a favor that they don’t deserve, along with kindness and generosity that they can’t earn. Grant them mercy, which is similar to a shield that covers them and keeps them from retaliation or punishment.  

So, what do you get out of this? It frees you from the pain and loosens the grip of anger, bitterness and resentment. You can love and live again which brings joy, allows peace to return, and the fragrance of hope to fill your house.  Everyone will notice and your children will be the beneficiaries of this change.

You already have the victory, so laugh because laughter is your faith in action. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Marnita Coleman is an author and host of The Marnita Show, a parenting show heard daily across the globe. For more parenting information and to contact Marnita, log onto TheMarnitaShow.com.

The opinions on this page are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the AFRO.
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