Valentine’s Day, Your Way

Red Flowers Not Roses Though

We all know the big V-day is just around the corner.

Call it what you will… ignore it if you want… but Valentine’s Day is there (at least in American culture) lingering, at the very least in the back of our mind, and brought front and center every time we walk into a grocery store or drugstore or even doctor’s office, for goodness sake: heart-box candy staring us in the face or dancing paper cherubs gracing the corners of the waiting room.

A little much? For some, yes, for others – no. 

It’s a weird holiday, in my opinion, for many of us who have complex trauma that very often haunts us via the significant-other relationship that we both often want and push away. 

We may deeply desire romantic partnership but find it eludes us or gets messed up every time we are near. We may crave someone or long for love but can’t argue with the invisible cinder-block wall between the life we live and the love we yearn for.

What’s a healing warrior to do?

Well, the long answer comes in the form of deep healing work, nervous-system regulation, and moving through the past to arrive at a present that’s, well, more in the present. We are all wise to feel our feelings, sink into them, and find the deep truth buried beneath.

But sometimes, we just want to get through a tough spot, and with less than 24 hours before the VD love bomb drops, a more practical approach may be handy to keep in mind.

With that said, and with the caveat that you should ONLY do what feels truly right for you, here are three of my top suggestions for loving your way through the holiday of deeply felt obsession – I mean codependency – I mean, ahem, LOVE:

  • Love on your friends, family, and pets. If you’re feeling a big gap of emptiness and that bottomless pit of loneliness, reach out to those who are already there for you. (Even without the loneliness, it’s a good idea!) Buy them heart-shaped nothings and tell them how much they mean to you. Embrace the big love and share it with them in a way that speaks to them – not just to you. Hear their love language and talk to them in that way. It doesn’t have to be crazy or over the top; it can be simple and small. But make it from the heart, and see if it helps your heart heal.

  • Love on your Self. We have all heard this probably 5,278,257 times, give or take, but it stands true: self-love wins. If you were someone else giving you a gift, what would you want? Now, go out and give it to yourself. Wrap up a gift certificate for a massage. Buy yourself a box of chocolates, but rather than just eating it mindlessly on the drive home from the store, take the time to wrap it in gift wrap, put it somewhere super visible in your house to admire, feel the love, and then unwrap it as a gift to yourself. Buy yourself flowers, dance with yourself in the kitchen, and, more than anything, take the time to dig deep for what you like, what you want, what means the most to you, and go. do. that.

  • Love the world. This one is fun. And goofy. And silly. And may go against every fiber of your being. But put the love out there in the world. Draw a heart using chalk on the sidewalk. Make a heart-shaped snow creation and set it on the steps of your front porch. Hang an obnoxious paper heart decoration in YOUR front window. (Dare to rival the holiday perfection of the standard American waiting room!) Buy a bouquet of flowers and walk down the city street handing them out one at a time. Donate to your favorite charity and in the comments section, write, “In the name of love!” Crank love songs on your car radio and roll the windows down while you sing out loud. Whatever is inside you – the love, the hurt, the pain, the longing – let it out. Pour your love into the world in the only way you can, and see how much better you feel after.

With all that said, the bottom line is that what may help this Valentine’s Day – if you’re feeling lonely or sad – is to practice the art of resilience. Lots of us struggle in the romantic partnership department, but we don’t necessarily lack access to love. It’s there. Inside all of us. 

Your mission this V-day, should you choose to embrace it, is to simply look inside, feel the goodness, and maybe, just maybe, for this one itty-bitty 24-hour period of a day, give yourself permission to openly set it free.


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