As Valentine’s Day rolls around, it can be the cause of drastic and contradicting emotions. While some people genuinely couldn’t care less, seeing it non-emotionally as a commercially birthed holiday, in most people it tends to raise either a strong love or hate reaction. This holiday can be a reminder, good or bad, of where we are in our life and where we have been. Like any holiday, they possess the power to stir up our emotions.
It is typically seen as a day to celebrate romance— celebrating our romantic partner, or partners, that love and care for us. Some people celebrate by going on romantic dates, others choose to stay in with their partner and get take out. Some may plan a trip together, others that are doing long-distance may simply plan a FaceTime date. Whether it is a new love or one that has been growing over years, having a day dedicated to celebration and reflection can add great value to the bond.
On the other hand, it can also be a reminder of heartbreak, of loneliness, of singledom (which for one, is a perfectly amazing state to be in), or a reminder of one’s distance from their family. It can create feelings of “lack” or “less than,” such feelings that are now exaggerated in the day of social media. With a quick scroll on our phone, we can see an endless abundance of couples going on cutesy dates and publicly declaring their love via an Instagram post, which is hopefully just a small portion of the love they then declare to their partner in person.
Valentine’s Day looks different for just about everyone. It can be romantic and thrilling, or challenging and painful, just as any other holiday such as Christmas or Thanksgiving can be. On days when we assume most people are laughing and creating memories with their loved ones, it can create an even bigger hole of loneliness within us. But, we are never really alone. So, I wanted to write a simple reminder to you, to myself, to us. The reminder being: there is no one type of love that is greater than another.
It can be an amazing time of the year to celebrate any and all romantic relationships that may be cultivating in our lives. But it’s more than that, it’s about celebrating love. All love. Not just any one love.
Love in Many Forms…
Love for yourself— Self-love is a continuous journey, that we all work on every day. Celebrate the days that are easy to love yourself, and celebrate the hard days when we struggle with our beautiful flaws even more. Celebrate growth, celebrate change. Celebrate you.
Love for your family— If you are lucky enough to have a relationship with your family, celebrate it! Not all have this privilege, so tell those that have known you the longest how much you love them. Family is precious. It can be a grand source of love, so don’t let the stereotypical, larger than necessary fog of romance, over this holiday over shadow the platonic love we share with others. Celebrate family.
Love for your friends— Your chosen family, your chosen people, your tribe. These are the people which you love purely because you want to. The sisters and brothers with different mothers. Tell them you love them. Celebrate friends.
Love for your pet— Celebrate the joy they add on the daily. They give you bundles of love and change the atmosphere of the place you reside in night and day. Be grateful for them. They hold a larger amount of unconditional love for you than you may even realize. Celebrate fur babies.
Love for your passions— on top of everything else, celebrate by showing your loves! Part of self-love is celebrating how you express yourself externally. Celebrate accomplishments, current journeys, and future thoughts. Celebrate yourself and what you love to do, because most likely, this is the passion that encapsulates a large part of your mind. It’s where you wish to be and what you want to be doing, and when you can’t do it, your dreaming of it within the safety of your mind. Celebrate this, share this— it is your heart.
Whether you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, power to you! Shed the filters and stereotypes that society adds to this day, break it down and redefine it in any way that brings joy to you.
Let it be a day of celebrating your partner.
Let it be a day of celebrating your family and friends.
Let it be a day of celebrating yourself.
Let it be a day of celebrating your passions and work.
Let it be a day of celebrating softness and acceptance.
Let it be a day of celebrating health— of eating well, resting, or going to therapy.
Let it be a day of celebrating life, of gratitude, of love.
Let it be whatever it is.
But no matter what, make yourself one small promise… Make sure you tell yourself, I love you, and make sure you tell those around you that you love them too.