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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I decided to put up a post that might be helpful to anyone who’s looking for some alternative viewpoints. This holiday, just like many other holidays, can be challenging for people – whether they’re currently in relationships or not – because of the societal ideologies that we’ve long been exposed to. ‘Valentine’s Day is all about fancy cards, red roses, chocolates, gifts, candle-lit dinners, and engaging in a night of perfect intimacy with a special someone’… I’m sure many of us would absolutely love to have it this way – but it’s not always feasible. And when we feel like we can’t fulfill that so-called ‘standard’ of what Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about, it can have a detrimental impact on our self-esteem.

There are countless sources out there who advocate for what I think I’ll call ‘Self-Love Awareness during Valentine’s Season’, and I couldn’t agree more with this important concept. It’s all too easy to lose sight of your own self when you’re surrounded by things that reinforce traditional viewpoints linked to Valentine’s Day. Even for those of us who are in relationships, you can’t help feeling a certain degree of societal expectation, as well as equally overt and subliminal messaging, when you’re out in public during this time of the year. It isn’t just the card aisle in the supermarket that is all decked out with shimmery red hearts and other Valentine’s Day décor – it’s also the bakery, the floral department, center-of-the-store displays, and sometimes even the checkout area. Shopping malls, coffee shops, schools, medical offices, businesses – everywhere you go, it seems like Valentine’s Day is being heavily promoted.

So what can we do to perhaps alter the ideas that are being pushed in our faces? How can we turn Valentine’s Day into a day that encourages more self-love than self-consciousness?

Let me offer an idea to contemplate here….

The image I chose for this post is a beautiful picture of Hartford, Connecticut. It represents an area that I have always found to be personally meaningful to me. It’s not something that I share with anyone else quite in the same way as I share it with myself. There’s something about it that’s always felt like it’s mine, and mine alone. It holds a unique energy that only I can know and understand in the way that I do… True, I can attempt to share in it with others – but no matter how close you might be with someone else – whether it’s a lover, a sibling, or a best friend – no one will ever be able to feel exactly what you feel, or know what you know, or have that same awareness that only you yourself have, to a ‘t’. It’s something that is precious, unique, and yours alone.

We all have something like this, and I’d encourage everyone to tap into whatever it might be. It could be a special place, a special hobby, a particular song – anything that you personally equate to who YOU are, at the very deepest level of your being. Something that you yourself can resonate with… and something that truly fosters self-love. Even if it takes some soul searching, there is something there within each and every one of us that is a symbolic representation of the love that always has been, and always will be, for ourselves.

Happy ‘Self-Love Day’! 🙂

*image source unknown