It’s that time of year again when no one can go out to dinner if they didn’t plan it out a month in advance, every flower in the county is spoken for and brain chemistry spikes with all that chocolate consumption. Some lovers look forward to a romantic day and some ignore the “Hallmark Holiday.” Some singles go about their business and some spiral into depressive states that they don’t have the love they deeply want, as everyone around them seems to celebrate being “in love.” And this year, we have the overhyped release of that sexy movie to contend with.
Last week I wrote about how we don’t fall in love, we create love. Love is an action. As Valentine’s Day approaches, whatever your relationship to this sometimes hated, sometimes beloved holiday, how can you use it as an opportunity for self-love and authentic connection?
I’ve always liked to call it “self-love day” because really, why don’t we have a holiday that celebrates how we love ourselves? We have holidays about loving our paramour, our mother, our father, Martin Luther King, presidents past, Jesus, and yet no holiday about the most important love of all. YOU.
For some who get particularly prickly around Valentine’s Day, that may feel like a derisive consolation.
No, but really.
If you get that depressed around V-Day, you aren’t loving yourself enough. I think our first and foremost human task on this planet is to learn how to love ourselves, how to really receive love and comfort from others, that we are indeed enough and that we are deserving. We must come home to ourselves.
And even if you are in a relationship, what do you love about you? How do you get to be a better version of you in your relationship? Spend a little time pondering and talking with your beloved about that—rather than just showering them with affection and praise. (Nothing wrong with that—just remember to include yourself in the praise!)
“Authentic” is such a buzzword now, one of those eye-glaze-over buzzwords that has lost meaning in overuse. People who have to preach about their authenticity are usually working far too hard to possibly be authentic. That’s the thing about authenticity. It’s about being who you really are, feeling what you really feel and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. And most people spend a lot of energy hiding their vulnerability so no one can see it, which makes authenticity elude even the most “I’m so myself-I’m so real” person.
If you could have an authentically self-loving holiday, what would it look like? How would you honor whatever vulnerability comes up for you about it? How could you drop into a deeper love of yourself?
It might mean you admit that you don’t want to do all the V-Day rituals, and that a good night would be snuggling up with a movie at home. It might mean watching some porn and getting off. It might mean you have that conversation about who you get to be in your relationship with your paramour. It might mean you take an herbal-Epsom-salt bath and create an elaborate self-love-making ritual with yourself complete with a large mirror where you can watch what it looks like when you get aroused.
It might mean you ignore the holiday all together and appreciate the long weekend.
Give yourself what you want for V-Day rather than waiting for someone else to do it for you. We can spend so much of our lives waiting for things to come, rather than just making them happen.
You don’t need an outer expression of love to be worthy of the love or gift you want. You can do it for yourself and love being you.
I want that for all of us, holiday or no holiday.
Have a great “I Love Who I Am” day.