Valentine’s day is coming up and is known as the holiday of expressing love and appreciation for those whom we adore. It’s mostly associated with romantic love, but Galentine’s Day is a recent addition to this celebration of love with an emphasis on our female friendships. These love-themed holidays are a great opportunity to stop and smell the roses, and perhaps even give them, along with other tokens of our esteem. 

Candy, stuffed animals and chocolates abound as the gifts of choice, but nowadays, with our time and our undivided attention at a premium, one of the most gracious gifts we can give is the gift of our voice and our presence.

Our most meaningful relationships, whether they be romantic, familial, or friendly, are built on intimate communication, quality time, and effort; there is no substitution.

No Facebook post, e-cards,  heart-filled emoji texts, or musical “tik-toks” can replace making a heartfelt call, FaceTime, or an in-person date for lunch or coffee with a best friend we haven’t seen in months, or a romantic dinner for two with our mates who we haven’t “seen in months.”

To be known, felt, seen, and heard for who we indeed are, and to be admired for all the “perfect imperfections” we all bring to the table of life, is one the greatest gift we can receive, as humans. 

Spending quality time with each other, talking and listening, sharing, and receiving, with no distractions with the Valentine of your choice, will be a gift that gives joy to the recipient, yourself, and to the relationship you want to nurture. And ironically, it is the more we offer love that “we fall in love” because we are the ones investing ourselves in the endeavor, so it’s a win-win.

To “Give Great Voice,” is intentionally touching or moving someone with our voices. It only requires the desire, commitment, and a little time, but the outcome is so worth it. What better time to do it than a holiday made specifically for communicating our love to the people we care about most and often take for granted. 

You don’t have to totally forgo the flowers, chuck the chocolates and toss out texting the pink heart emojis, but in addition, spend some time and money taking your beloved out for a meal, or make a special picnic lunch for a walk and talk in nature.

Use your beautiful voice to let your Valentine know how you feel about them — looking into their eyes, with a sincere, loving and vulnerable tone, so they know you mean it.

Make a good old fashioned phone call to express your love to your best friend or far-away family member and if they don’t pick up, leave a loving message so they can listen to it again and again.

Write a Valentine’s card expressing the qualities you love about your mate, and instead of just giving it to them, read it out loud with an adoring tone of love and admiration in your voice.

“Your voice filled with a loving intention is truly a gift, and you’ll never regret giving it.”