There is a lot of pressure on Valentine’s Day to splash out on thoughtful gifts, showy flowers, and an expensive dinner to prove to your person just how much you love him or her. If you’re sick of the commercialism, are alone this year, or just want to rebel against expectations, go rogue. Be your own Valentine.
All love begins with self love. Yet from birth we are taught how to conform. If we’re wearing the wrong clothes, we get picked on. If we enjoy our toys too much, we’re called selfish. Ads are thrust in our faces telling us that we need to smell better, have straighter teeth, and drive certain cars to belong.
When we get to school, the feedback on every paper we turn in tells us what we got wrong. Our work performance is about how we can be more productive. If we are too exuberant. we’re told to tone it down. If we’re not enthusiastic enough, we’re chastised. There are so many ways to be wrong.
Today I am throwing down the gauntlet. Let this Valentine’s Day be the day you step into your sovereignty and say, “No more judgments! I am good enough just as I am. I am love.”
We make mistakes. So what? This doesn’t make us bad. It just means we’re still learning. As long as we’re learning, we’re growing. Don’t stop making mistakes. Just stop making the same ones over and over.
We are all beautifully different. Some of us have freckles, red hair, big noses, tiny feet, or high pitched voices. It makes life interesting. We don’t have to look the same, feel the same, or believe the same to belong. We don’t have to purchase anything or change anything to be okay. We already belong to this Earth and to each other. If you meet someone who doesn’t remember this, be kind. They will get there some day.
The modern way of life is so disconnected, but we don’t have to be. We don’t have to buy into that story. We are free to write our own story and walk our own path. We can take the road that celebrates our struggles and our triumphs, the ways that we are the same as well as the ways that we are different.
We all need to remember little things like this. Society gives us so many messages and judgments that prompt us to forget and shut down the love inside. We go about looking for love on the outside while forgetting that love begins within. As Native American writer Linda Hogan said, “You are the result of the love of thousands.” You were created with love. It flows through your DNA and has for millennia.
So, if you are someone who is used to looking outside of yourself for it, how about starting within this year? Restructure your lens so that love comes from within and flows out before returning. Celebrate the love that is you and be your own Valentine.