6 Steps to Loving Again

Laurie Biddle Arnold

On Friday we will celebrate Valentine’s Day- a day focused on love. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotional and romantic side that the holiday often gravitates towards, however, that doesn’t have to be the focus of Valentine’s Day. Today we are speaking to Laurie Biddle Arnold, mother of two daughters and recent bride, about her approach to the holiday and how she raised her girls with a healthy attitude about love, while overcoming her own heartaches.


4word: Let’s start with your take on Valentine’s Day. How do you view the holiday and how has your view changed over the years?

Laurie: My take on Valentine’s Day is that it is a day to express “Love” to our Valentines, those we care about and who are important to us. By Love, I mean all types of love: romantic love, mother/daughter love, sisterly love, brotherly love, love of parents, love of family, love of girlfriends, love of teachers, love of mentors and so on.

I view Valentine’s Day as a day to have fun and celebrate with an intent to touch the heart of someone special. I attempted to establish traditions with personal touches. When my daughters were young, we spent many an evening making and decorating heart cookies with icing and various sprinkles.

My view of the holiday has not changed much over the years. One of my first memories of celebrating Valentine’s Day was in 2nd grade. Each student made a Valentine’s Box and a card for every student in the class. On Valentine’s Day, we walked around the class depositing Valentine’s cards with candy in each box until every student received a Valentine card from every classmate. Through the years, the relationships that were important to me changed some with the various stages of my life, but all in all, I have come to appreciate the day even more.

4word: Did raising your girls as a single mom affect your view of Valentine’s Day? How did you assure them of their self worth?

Laurie: From a very early age, my daughters were enamored with romantic love. As a mom, I wanted my daughters to love, but be cautious and not let others control how they thought about or saw themselves. Valentine’s Day can have negatives, such as rejection from a boyfriend they had a crush on, or a relative who liked their sister better, or loneliness in being shunned by a girlfriend that was no longer a best friend. As a mom, it was important to me that my daughters recognized that they had so much to offer and that “who they were” was not tied up in “who loved them.”

I encouraged the girls to demonstrate their talents. For example when the girls were young, I encouraged them to use their creativity by making cards for Valentine’s Day. As Valentine’s Day is a day to honor friends, I encouraged the girls to choose “good” friends, ones that accepted them as they were and loved them for who they were. Just as important as choosing good friends, I stressed the importance of letting go of friends or people in their lives that put them down, took advantage of them, or were just draining.

4word: What ways have you learned to love better or differently over the years?

Laurie: I have learned that to love more deeply I must first love myself. I must treat myself with the same kindness, generosity, care, and concern that I give to others. Even though I have been hurt by love in the past, it is important to continue to love and love again.

In 2013, my family celebrated my youngest daughter’s marriage in June, my oldest daughter’s marriage in July, and my marriage in November. And our family expanded! In addition to a wonderful husband and two fantastic son-in laws, I gained 4 sons, a daughter-in-law, a 2 ½ year old grandson and a soon to be daughter-in-law. I am looking forward to showing my love for each of them this Valentine’s Day.

4word: To those who have been hurt by love on this Valentine’s Day, what message do you have for them?

Laurie: The most important time to embrace Love is when we are hurting. Don’t go it alone. Turn to those that care about you and allow them to comfort, encourage and support you.

As far as dealing with the hurt and moving forward, here are a few essential tools from my toolkit that have helped get me back on my feet from time to time:

Step 1: If and when hurting, find ways to take care of yourself – be patient, kind, caring, and compassionate with yourself. Seek out someone that makes you laugh. Spend time outdoors. Take a bubble bath.

Step 2: Acknowledge anger and bitterness. Write in a journal or pour your heart out to a close confidant.

Step 3: Make a choice to be happy.

Step 4: Sooner rather than later, forgive yourself and whomever you feel has hurt you.

Step 5: Examine the relationship. If your expectations are not being met, examine whether your expectations are realistic or do they need to be adjusted.


If you are dealing with a breakup, take charge, put yourself out there to find love again. Don’t wait for that next special person to fall in your lap.

Step 6: Embrace your journey’s path and MOVE FORWARD!

Do I sound like I speak from experience? I know how difficult overcoming hurt can be, yet, the benefits of keeping an open and loving heart by forgiving (oneself and others) and ridding oneself of bitterness and anger are unlimited. Being happy is a choice. Moving forward is a choice. I have learned over the years that neither moving forward nor being happy can happen unless and until I stop berating, comparing and beating myself up for what I should or shouldn’t have done in a relationship. Love is truly a beautiful thing (but it does require work now and again) – Happy Valentine’s Day!


What special traditions do you have on Valentine’s Day? Are you dealing with heartache this Valentine’s Day? Remember to celebrate the special people in your life this week- family, friends, co-workers and share your celebrations with us in the comments!

Laurie Biddle Arnold is General Counsel and Vice President of Hall Financial Group, a private real estate investment company in Frisco, Texas. Her career in the legal field began as a receptionist at the age of 19. As a single mother raising two daughters and working full-time as a paralegal, she entered college to obtain an undergraduate degree and immediately following graduation, moved her family to Austin, Texas to pursue her dream of attending law school and becoming a lawyer. She is an active member in various professional organizations and serves on the Board of several non-profit organizations and as an Elder in her church.