Like most holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in the “shoulds” or cultural obligations of what it needs to look like. Valentine’s Day tends to be a whole lot of blah blah blah, look at our love, look at the love I don’t have, here’s some chocolate, here’s a card, let’s move on.
But when we tune into the spirit of the holiday, of noticing and celebrating love, you might find that there is a lot of merriment to be had.
I have heard people say, “Oh my partner and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because we love each other every day.” I get it, and I think that is great. BUT, that’s also like saying, “Oh I don’t celebrate my partner’s birthday because we are thankful for each other’s birth every day.”
Holidays are a time to take a break from the everyday and have a bit of fun. My partner and I aren’t huge Valentine’s Day celebrators, but we do a little something. Just for kicks.
Valentine’s Day is also a holiday that naturally brings out a lot of angst. It brings to light singledom or lack of love. But I think those people are just missing the point.
There is so much love in your life if you don’t limit the kind of love that you’ve defined as validating.
Let me explain with a personal story. Years ago, I was going through a divorce. On my first night alone in what used to be our house, I just started crying my eyes out. There were many reasons for the tears, but the biggest one was how alone I actually felt. I felt a huge lack of love, a love that I got used to having in my home on a regular basis.
I cried and cried as the pity party grew, and then it hit me. It was one of those moments where an external voice entered my brain and said, “You have so much love, dear Randi. You just need to notice.”
And so I did. I was instantly overwhelmed with the love I had from my family and friends and even my sweet dog. My pity turned into gratitude, and I knew that it was all going to be OK.
That experience really changed my relationship with that love void in my heart. You know, the spot that aches to be accepted and celebrated and shared.
Certain types of love serve different purposes and have their own kind of satisfactions, which I know is a thing. But for some reason, we have a tendency to only use romantic love as validation.
So my invitation to you today on this day of love is to let all of the love in. Really notice the love you have for others, but also all of those who love you. Including your own self-love! (Oh yeah, self-love! I have so much more to say on that, but I’ll save it for another post.)
Take some time today to acknowledge and celebrate those you love in your life, be it a phone call, text, letter, however you kids are communicating these days.