Next Wednesday is Valentine’s Day—everybody’s favorite greeting-card holiday filled with price-gouged roses, generic chocolates, and maybe something expensive and sparkly.
Oh, and it’s the day of love.
If you haven’t guessed, I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s not that I’m bitter or anti-romance (after all, I’m quickly approaching my TEN-YEAR wedding anniversary), but I just don’t see the need for having a special day to show others that I love them.
Mark and I don’t completely ignore the holiday (last year we had an epic dinner at Waffle House, LOL, complete with lemon-lime soda in plastic champagne flutes and the magical amount of kitsch), and this year we’ll probably cook a fancy dinner at home that we can enjoy together.
What I really wanted to talk about is this: how to love on Valentine’s Day.
I am not talking romantic love—at least not specifically. I mean loving yourself. Your life. Your purpose.
How do we really love ourselves—and do so year-round? And how do we translate that into love and respect for others?
For starters, we need to realize we’re human.
Instead of beating ourselves up when we’re anxious, fearful, sad, or angry, we need to wholly feel those emotions and acknowledge that they are simply a “side effect” of existence.
Instead of scrambling to bury our anger or patch our sadness with makeshift band-aids, we owe it to ourselves to understand why we feel as we do and what choices we can make to accept those feelings and move forward in a healthy way.
And we need to stop apologizing.
I don’t mean we need to skip an apology when we’ve truly wronged or offended somebody, but we need to stop apologizing for simply being ourselves.
Stop apologizing for having wild dreams for your future. Stop apologizing for wearing the clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. Stop apologizing for choosing hobbies that suit your lifestyle instead of what popular culture suggests you should do. And, for the love of God, stop apologizing for your strong opinions and refusal to back down from them!
To truly love ourselves—and show love to others—we must not dilute who we were born to be.To truly love ourselves and others, we must not dilute who we were born to be Click To Tweet
Lastly, we need to be compassionate.
I finally finished reading the Dr. Kristin Neff book, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself (affiliate link), and it was eye-opening in many ways.
It made me realize that, although I have a lot of empathy and compassion for others, I do not give myself the same benefits when I struggle, make mistakes, or land flat on my face.
However, research has shown that people who show themselves more compassion instead of judgment are in turn more compassionate to their family, friends, and peers. Crazy, huh?
When we realize that we are all experiencing life’s ups and downs together, we can understand where the other is coming from. We can truly empathize and realize the validity of others’ feelings/emotions, even when we disagree.
It’s when we’ve begun to understand and practice self-compassion that we can give—and receive—love at our most unlovable times.
Valentine’s Day is about romantic love, yes, but it’s also a reminder to be kind and loving to every single person—ourselves, included—that we encounter.
Instead of worrying about overpriced flowers, dinner reservations, and expensive jewelry, let’s place our energy into spreading true love through kind gestures, sincere well-wishes, and compassionate thoughts.How to truly LOVE on #ValentinesDay (& year-round) Click To Tweet
[linking up with Amanda for thinking out loud]
So tell me…
- Do you enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day or is it “just another day” to you?
- What’s the kindest gesture you’ve done on V-Day (or that somebody’s done for you)?