Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It is the defined day of the year in which we express our love for that special person in our life. For some it is truly that, for others it’s just another commercialized holiday that’s more about hype. For me, as I usually spend it alone, it’s a day to express how much I love me!
The thing is, I’m among the many single ones who can’t celebrate the romantic love of the holiday. However, unlike previous years where I’d mope about not having a Valentine I’m going to take the time to acknowledge the things that I love about myself. We’re often so critical of ourselves, nitpicking at the numerous things that we’d like to change. Thus, this year I’m going to pay more attention to the things that I love about me. And certainly not in a vain way. My best friend says I don’t need a day, year or month to declare the celebration of myself, as I am always of the mindset that it’s all about me. Even so, I know that I can very often lose sight of the things that I love about myself and the things that make me special and unique. I can literally adore myself one minute and detest it the next.
Many say that you can’t truly find love until you love yourself. So why not take the upcoming holiday and use it to reflect on the things that you value about yourself? You have 364 other days to beat yourself up over the things you wish you can change but likely never will. Even if you have that special someone in your life or if you’re alone, Valentine’s Day can be the one day out of the year to pamper and appreciate yourself. Doing so is certainly apart of the spirit of the holiday.
Avoid the chocolates, as they’ll likely interfere with the most common New Years resolution of losing weight. Don’t fret about not receiving flowers, they wilt, whither and die after a few days. And rather than be concerned about the last minute card that your partner gets for you, create one yourself. In my case I plan on sitting down and actually listing out the things that I love about myself. Considering that on any given day we dwell on the negative, flip it and only think of the positive. Plus, the resulting list can come in handy in those moments or days when you’re really hard on yourself.
It’s all about making what could be a depressing day into one that brings you joy, one that renews your belief in yourself. Give yourself the boost, the uplift in knowing that you are you, that no one out there is exactly like you and that you love yourself for the person you are. That extra vote of confidence will allow you to not look at the person you want to become as an arduous and painful process and instead as a welcomed journey to the best you you can be.
Valentine’s Day can be anything you want it to be. In recent years I considered myself a grinch for all holidays. On Christmas Day I’d dread having to leaving the coziness of the warm house (or cool as it is Georgia weather after all!) to go and have Christmas dinner with family. Typically, on Valentine’s Day I’d allow myself to be ruled by the sadness I felt about being alone. I’d even make sure that my wardrobe for the day would include the color black. It’s a new year and a whole new attitude. Concentrate on loving you before you ‘romantically’ love someone else (another thing mentioned by my therapist as well as friends over the years). Ladies, I’m told that men like a confident woman who doesn’t have to always be with their man. That remains to be seen on my part as I’m still working on being a more confident me for myself before having someone else in the picture. And for the men, if you have a special someone in your life, take the time to show it and express it. Despite you maybe not liking to be all emotional and lovey dovey, you can at least do it once or twice a year (as you know you have to do that on your anniversary). This is for the woman you love and who loves you.
At the end of the day I think that Valentine’s Day is often viewed as a cannibalized and over-commercialized holiday. But like everything else in life, it is what you make it. Whether you’re with the love of your life, the love for right now or by yourself, capitalize on the true meaning, love. Love your partner, yes, but be sure that you also love yourself too.
This article appeared on page 5A in the 2/8/12 issue of The Union-Recorder.