Beneath the sarcasm and contempt for this chocolate covered holiday, I’m actually a romantic at heart. I love Boyz 2 Men; I cry (and by cry I mean, sob hysterically) every time I see The Notebook; my Man and I are cliché honeymoon lovers, constantly kissing, giggling and saying sweet nothings to each other, even after 8 years.
Yet Valentine’s Day holds little romantic value in my book. While I’m a fan of spreading love as much and as often as possible, the excessive pink and red candy coated everything just rubs me the wrong way.
Maybe it’s because I remember all the years of agony as a child and teenager, when Valentine’s Day made me feel poor, sad, and alone. Being single on this fateful day when I was 14 felt worst than death! And even today, while my Man is off in another country enjoying the opportunity of a lifetime, the constant reminders of romance make me miss him more than usual.
Thankfully, my dear friend Sherrie taught me many moons ago, that every holiday doesn’t apply to every person… I don’t get sad that I’m not a father on Father’s Day, or when I don’t receive presents on Hanukkah, so why be mopey that I don’t have a +1 on Valentine’s Day? It just becomes one of those holidays that don’t apply to me!
Instead of letting the propaganda continue to bother me, I choose to accept all the messages of Love and direct them back at Moi! After all, a truly healthy romantic relationship is one where two individuals who honor and care for themselves choose to be together. That “you complete me” BS is called dependency, not true love. How can you be “in a relationship” with anyone if you’ve never been “in a relationship” with yourself?
Last week I pondered this a lot, and started to fixate on all the ways I should take care of myself. I should take a bath every night. I should get massages more often. I should treat myself to a manicure. As the “should”s kept piling in, I got into a real funk.
“How can I possibly write about my relationship to myself when I don’t do this and that?” This went on for days. Thoughts have a way of doing that when you let them take over…
Finally, I snapped out of it a few days ago while taking some soup to my friend who was sick. As I packed up her red lentil soup, I also chopped some fresh herbs. I made her a batch of herbal tea and bottled up some eucalyptus oil. When I arrived and began unpacking and explaining, I realized how naturally this “white witch magic” came to me that morning. At times like that, you see how the “normal” things in your life that were not always “normal” to you.
I then thought about all the ways I do take care of myself. Ways that I no longer think about because those decisions are so automatic to me now. Here are some small but very monumental ways I take care of me & my home:
I study health because I want to be healthy. When my friend called my remedies “white witch magic”, I was flattered. Essential oils, homeopathics, herbs and spices fight are my go-to for fighting infection, building immunity and soothing symptoms. It feels empowering to know how to use natural medicine. My own health care is in my hands, and doctors (alternative or allopathic) are merely advisors.
I feed myself well and nourish my body with local, organic, and nutritious food as often as possible. I clean my home with non-toxic products, most of which I make myself. Now I automatically buy natural food and products, when a decade ago I would’ve mocked anyone for “spending all that extra money” on less toxic options.
When my man goes on vacation, I make him a travel size toothpaste, deodorant and refill his aftershave, because we make all of those here in my living room. And I pack at least one reusable bag, we certainly have enough. Anyone else got a bag of bags? Lol!
I know how to move and stretch my body safely in a way that feels good to me. After years of dreading cardio, I found a dance class that makes me sweat with a huge smile. And when I forget to do a lil yoga in my day, I always remember to put my legs up on the wall every night and flex my toes.
I have learned how to effectively cope with stress, anxiety and depression. After years of actively searching and learning, I have finally found Emotional Freedom. I have a spiritual practice and connection to the Divine (my Inner 13 year old still rolls her eyes at the thought of this).
It’s ok that I don’t take a bath every night, or give myself facials and manicures. My relationship with myself can always improve, but that doesn’t mean it’s flawed right now. I’ve come a long way in 8 years, and this Valentine's Day I will love myself by simply remembering all the strides I have made in behavior and lifestyle changes. Because lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight. They take time to become your new “normal”. Being kind and gentle to yourself during those changes makes growing so much more more fun! So I work on being kind and gentle to myself.
Because today, having fun is a priority for me. Enjoying the small acts that have made a huge impact in my life. Today I choose acceptance. Today I choose gratitude.
Today I choose to remember all the ways I already love and care for myself.
How do you care and love yourself? Are there any small acts that have made a huge impact in your life today? What’s “normal” for you today, that 10 years ago you never would have thought would be so “normal” for you ever? I would love to hear how far you’ve come in your relationship to You! Share in the comments below if you feel inspired.
Whether you’re single, in a monogamous or polyamorous relationship, I wish you a Happy Day of Love! Happy Self-Valentine’s Day!
With Love, Always,