Love is in the Air: This is Not a Choice, Life Requires Both

The month of February is marked as a month which love is celebrated. Particularly this February, I am in full support of this tradition. Going about researching love or Valentine’s Day I, of course, did what all good researchers do, I googled Saint Valentine.

After an exploration of who Saint Valentine was and why we can credit and thank him for providing humanity with an actual day to celebrate romantic love, I was profoundly disillusioned. The bad news is, Saint Valentine, who lived in the 15th century, was said to be beheaded on February 14th, which I find to be a serious conflict of interest in choosing a day of love to be celebrated.The most interesting love fact I found regarding his life and love however, also on February 14th while imprisoned, the head guard of the prison recognizing the intelligence, kindness, and love for God that this man displayed brought his daughter, who was blind from birth, to learn from him and in hopes of her healing. Valentine sat with the young girl discussing God and love. As the legend goes, this girl began to see a bright light as she felt the love of God and regained her sight. Love on Valentine’s day is centered around the last moments of his life before being taken to his death. He wrote a note to this girl signing it:

                              From your valentine, with affection, love, and devotion.

As her sight was restored, she valued this loving note.

So the concept of celebrating love in general on this day was birthed. Further, embracing the concept of love between souls on this day makes the concept of Valentine’s Day much more significant and hopeful.

So how to approach the month of love or, more intensely, the day of celebratory love, Valentine’s Day? The day of lover’s devotion to each other, which taken out of context can imply

  • If you have someone…step it up.
  • If you don’t have someone…poor you. Worst of all,
  • If you’ve lost someone. Day of traumatic loss, grief, and remembrance.

In my humble opinion, we should take a moment and shake it off. To quote the famous poet, Taylor Swift, “Sh-sh-sh-shake it off. Shake it off.”

All of life should be love walk. Yes, this sounds corny, but can you imagine living a life where you are always or mostly paying attention to your own self-care. Honoring and appreciating the fact that you are here on the earth and have intrinsic meaning simply because, we all do.

No amazingly great reason, no Nobel prize, just “Hey, I woke up today, It’s a good day to be alive.” No matter what my life circumstances. We know this is true because we hate watching suffering, think about if you saw a baby alone, smelly, crying for help, uncared for, in pain what would you do? You would pick that child up. Why? Because you know that child has intrinsic worth and value. If we could approach the beginning of our day with the knowledge that we can shape our day in attitude, belief, thought for at least the first few minutes of consciousness, we would eventually shift our individual day, month, year, and eventually life.

At this point you are probably thinking, “This post is nuts.” How do you go from feeling empty or very sad to feeling amazing life energy and purpose? The best emotional advice I’ve personally received and the most relieving  was:

Start where you are.

Yes, begin in the month of February, which we already established as the “love” month. When you wake up in the morning, congratulate yourself for opening your eyes and breathing in the new day. Commit to yourself to have your first thought be loving. If you can’t be loving to yourself, yet, be kind. This would sound like, “Good morning,” glad I made it through the night, and can start my day choosing peaceful thoughts.” We can all say this even if you wake up to chaos, remind yourself that:

You are the biggest influence on your life.

Tell yourself what you would tell your dearest friend, your scared child, even a stranger in need. It would be at least kind — comforting words like, “You can do this, hang in there, I LOVE YOU.” Try this, NO, DO this for yourself! Start where you are, you know what you need to hear. What would help your mood first thing in the morning? Every act of kindness counts, nothing is too small.

As the month continues especially on Valentine’s Day, or “Day of Love,” double time self kindness. Acts of kindness would be amazing on the 14th. Think kind and do something kind on Valentine’s Day. You know what you need to do for yourself. The myth “if I have to get myself flowers or…anything it doesn’t count,” is not true. All acts of kindness count.

So February’s commitment is wake up with love. Make a point of doing this. By March you will feel lighter, better, more attuned to your life walk. If you are struggling on this Valentine’s Day — be kind to yourself, be patient on your road, most of all know that we change our lives by how we understand our worth and potential.

Know that hope is a breath away and that

HOPE IS A CHOICE TO BELIEVE THE BEST ABOUT SOMETHING.

Make that something a loving life.

From your Valentine, with affection love and devotion.

 

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About Jean Wolfe Powers, LMFT