But, every year, I am conflicted about Valentine’s Day.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Love. I cry at weddings. I cheer for relationships.
But, I bristle at the exclusiveness Valentine’s Day implies for some. That a particular type of love is more valuable than others. That romantic love, marked by a narrow selection of gestures is how we shall know we are valued and loved. Couples only, please.
This isn’t a bah-humbug post, but an appeal to reframe this day that might be disappointing or exclusionary for some, into one that is completely inclusive.
Even as children we feel the exclusivity of Valentine’s Day. I remember the big dilemma – do I give a card to everyone, including the kid who bullied me, or that I just didn’t like? It stung if some classmate didn’t deem me worthy of one of their cheap-ass store bought cards. I remember sitting at my desk in 4th grade watching popular kids count up their cards to see how got the most. There’s nothing quite like a gloating nine-year-old.
To belong is to be loved
Here’s the great news, whether or not you’re a fan of the hoopla of Valentine’s Day, whether you are in a loving relationship or not, Valentine’s Day does not define love. Your lovableness cannot be boiled down to a single date on the calendar, or if one person chooses you on one day out of 365. Love is much more than that. Regardless of your status, today you can express your love for another person – a best friend, a mentor, a family member and brighten both of your days.
As we hit our late thirties, into our forties and beyond, our perspective of love changes, but the need for it never does. To be loved is to belong. Brené Brown puts it beautifully describing in Braving the Wilderness that our biggest need is for belonging.
What is left to say about love that has not been said before? Perhaps this: you are loved.
Love is alive
There are many types of love and lots of ways to spread it around. Try these and tell me how it goes. If you’re posting on social media use the hashtag #fortyologylove.
- Show yourself some healthy self-love and buy a cute journal today. Start writing it in it. What are your dreams? What are your healthy and unhealthy views of love?
- If you’ve got a pet, you’re definitely loved. Jojo Moyes writes a love letter to her dog. If you try this, please share!
- Pop a bottle of your favourite bubbly. (Pictured: my favourite)
4. Send love to your pal-entines and gal-entines to remind them they’re loved.
5. If you think someone could use it, share this post.
6. Listen to this song (scroll down).
More on Love.