This week is Valentine’s Day, a day to acknowledge our love and appreciation for the loved ones in our lives. The focus is decidedly outward – to our partners, lovers, friends, etc. I don’t want to debate the commercialism of this holiday, but I do think there’s validity in intentionally expressing our love in whatever ways feel authentic. I also hope this is not limited to once-a-year but is actively and meaningfully communicated throughout the year.
This holiday places a lot of expectations and pressures on us – to spend money on cards, flowers, food, clothing, jewelry, etc. As if to show through our purchases who we love and how much. Don’t get me wrong, I like chocolate as much as the next person, but it tastes just as good at other times of the year as well!
For years Valentine’s Day has created mixed emotions for me. Perhaps you can relate to the angst of grade school when the day served as proof of where you stood in the popularity scale. How many valentines did I get and from who? As an adult and single, I have been challenged at times with feeling insecure and excluded from the intended target market of couples.
In recent years I realized that I was focusing on external validation for who I was and how I felt about myself. By looking within myself for validation and accepting who I am, I now understand that Valentine’s Day is for me too. I too can express my love to those who are special to me in whatever ways I choose. But just as important, I need to acknowledge love for myself. Sure I can go out and buy myself something special, but a greater gift is to reflect on who I am and truly love and honour that person. Self acceptance and validation come from within. So I can accept that I am valued, I am cherished, I am loved.
I invite you to reclaim the true meaning of Valentine’s Day. Celebrate Love through meaningful expressions from your heart – for your special loved ones as well as for yourself. Be your own best lover!
To love others, we must first learn to love ourselves. – Author Unknown
Submitted by Lucy Martin