I’m going to cut right to the chase. I spent MANY Valentine’s Days feeling disappointed, lonely, discouraged and jealous. I wanted my day to look like the Hallmark card commercials. I wanted somebody to sweep me off my feet and it to be the most magical day ever.
After a long time of that not happening, I tried a different strategy. Instead of wishing and hoping, I girded myself up in my best “armor” and convinced myself that I hated Valentine’s Day because it was “so commercialized and cliche”. This was my way of trying to protect myself from emotional pain.
I grew hard and stoic and that didn’t feel good either.
Slowly, I discovered the secret to Valentine’s Day!
Instead of relying on others to make my Valentine’s Day wonderful, I turned the whole equation around.
I decided to be my OWN Valentine.
I started giving myself what I wanted. I began treating myself wonderfully for Valentine’s Day and loving myself the way I wanted to be loved. This was transformative because now I was empowered – I had control and choice.
I bought myself gifts, treated myself to massages and wrote myself love letters. Over the years I have realized that it was actually my own love that I was desperately seeking all along! Another beautiful thing that happened is, that as I filled my cup more and more, I started naturally giving to others the things that I had previously worked so hard to get from them. So instead of trying to get someone else to give me what I wanted, I began giving those things to others. I was able and willing to do that because I was full.
Not sure what you really want?
Think of the things that you would like for Valentine’s Day and ask yourself, “What will this do for me?” or “What’s important about that?”
Sometimes what we want on the surface is a representation of something we want on a deeper level.
Are the desired flowers really telling us that we want more beauty in our lives or we want someone to pay attention and go out of their way to do something special for us?
Is the candy a sign of wanting to experience more sweetness in your life?
Identify something that you want (surface or deep) and make a plan of how you can give that to yourself.
How can I be kind to myself?
How can I give to myself what I want rather than relying on someone else to give it to me?
If I have a partner or special friend, how can I communicate to them what I want?
A few years ago, I started a fun family tradition for Valentine’s Day in an attempt to create some positive shared memories and bonding among my crew and to take some of the focus off the romantic aspect of the holiday.
So, I got all kinds of fun Valentine’s decorations and made a special dinner with a special dessert (the true way to my family’s hearts) and I printed up a sheet of paper with each person’s name on it. We all passed our papers around the table, so each family member got a turn with each person’s paper. Every time you received a new paper, you had to write down something you valued/appreciated about that person. When all the papers were returned, each person took a turn reading all of their compliments out loud and guessing who had written each one.
We now do this every year and I love it. Yes, there are some eyerolls and some playful complaints from some of my people around the table, but I know there is a part of each of them that likes this too. We even do sheets for our out-of-town kiddos and send them a picture of their papers afterward.
I know another family who doesn’t exchange Christmas presents among their immediate family and they wait for “I Love You Day”, as they have affectionately coined Valentine’s Day. And that is how they celebrate.
The sky is the limit based on your preferences and situation. Find something that excites and works for you. Keep it simple and find enjoyment in the little things.
How will you be your OWN Valentine and celebrate this year?