Last night, twenty years ago, my husband asked me to marry him. 
It had been raining for a week; a long, cold, dreary rain as winter struggled to turn into spring. 

We were in our final semester of college. We had a lot on our minds-like finding jobs and applying to graduate school; wondering how to pay the rent when next semester’s student loan check didn’t arrive. There was no dropping down on one knee. There were no flowers or witnesses, no photographer to capture the surprised look on my face. There was very little fan fare as far as the asking went, yet there it was: a diamond and a promise. 

The promise that we would figure it all out together. 

It hasn’t always been easy, these twenty years. We have argued and fought. We have disagreed. We have nearly given up and we have grown. 

We’ve grown together and separately, and asked ourselves hard questions along the way like, are we still good together? Are we better off apart? 

And if the answer was ever yes to that last one, we had to be brave enough to let each other go. 

That’s what love is. 

Loving someone means we are equally as dedicated to their soul’s evolution as we are to our own. 

Love is simultaneously the most selfish and selfless thing we will ever do. It selflessly requires us to nurture and support the growth of another soul through whatever lessons life delivers while, at the same time, selfishly demanding that someone else selflessly do the exact same thing for us. 

Love is complex in its simplicity and simple in its complexity. To love and be loved we are called to live wholeheartedly, willing to give up what’s ours to become more and accept what isn’t ours in order to grow. 

Twenty years later, we are still helping each other grow. 

For that reason, we continue to know love. 

Tonight, on this Valentine’s Day of 2017, I wish you the same. 

Love is the answer. 

It’s always the answer. 

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