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Love, Football and Icebergs …

It’s February, the “love” month; and, although it’s the shortest month of the year, it still represents two of the biggest, most recognized dates of  this year’s national calendar: NFL Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day. The first, the Super Bowl, will most certainly hold hostage all our normal routine activities for hours from coast to coast on February 1 with gridiron plays, and, even better, great commercials to be talked about well after the play clock ends the game. The second, February 14, Valentine’s Day, harnesses the very essence of love, as individuals everywhere look for the right relationship, right moment, right ring, or even the right card to say the words “I love you” the right way.

Now, I love football, along with countless other Americans. I was born and raised in a football town, namely Tampa, Florida—no Bucs jokes, please! I “love” lots of other things, too, like healthy food, good health, recreation, sunrises and sunsets, and the beach. Even so, when I ponder the term “love,” which Webster defines as an “intense feeling of deep affection and personal attachment,” I inherently know, as most do, that, although there are “intense” feelings for football, fun times and countless other enjoyable things, the best measure and use of love is far more complex and much deeper.

Love is all about legacy and life-on-life impact. I think of Jack and Rose in the movie Titanic, played so deftly by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Jack told Rose, “I will never let go,” as they faced an end-of-life “moment-of-truth” experience that we all remember to this day. I think of Celine Dion’s deeply inspirational lyrics in “My Heart Will Go On,” the movie’s featured song. Her angelic voice still rings clear, “Near, far, wherever you are. I believe that the heart does go on.” What a beautiful picture of love.

Titanic captures the very deep, complex, and sometimes dark, side of love in a very unique way. It’s all about the heart. Love can be such a contrasting paradox: fun, yet heartbreaking; exhilarating, yet painful; fulfilling, yet depleting; and even life-lifting, yet, in some cases, life threatening, as so well depicted in this blockbuster movie sitting in my video archives.

Now, for a little cold water of truth and reality: The boat did sink, as they do sometimes; sunk by an iceberg. Probably unlike any other time in history, love is in high demand and deficit; researchers are trying to dissect it, songwriters are trying to define it, and Hollywood is trying to sell out movie theaters with it. However, as rising national statistics on divorce, infidelity, domestic violence and relationships indicate, our “love boat” is in real danger. If nothing is done to save the ship, then, as the captain leveled to Rose in the movie, “It will flounder!”

Well … the sun is shining behind the clouds forming over the seas. One must understand that the worth of love for another is actually measured in the currency of integrity, commitment and dedication … not just feelings. Love is not a noun, it is a heavy-lifting verb. We must act accordingly. Jack pursued Rose with passion, commitment and resolve. We must pursue our loved ones the same way. Love is about a willingness to give up everything if it calls for it. What are you willing to give up for love, for your “Rose”—fear, pride, arrogance, immaturity, selfishness?

Yes, love sports; love your body with wellness and healthy habits; but, most of all, love your significant other(s), as Jack loved Rose … to the end!

Loving like Jack, 

Annette

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