Acceptance, Perspective, Self-Worth: It’s Time to Rethink Valentine’s Day
My Valentine’s Days have been some of the most wonderful days of my life and, some of my most lonely. When in a romantic relationship, the flowers, chocolates, and dedicated time for celebrating each other can be immensely meaningful and special. Conversely, being single on Valentine’s Day can be rough, especially when it seems like most of our friends are in relationships or married. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned along the way.
Stop making Valentine’s Day about validation.
Women often get the message that their self worth is based upon their worth to others. We use occasions like Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, or Christmas to measure how much we are loved, and therefore how much we are worth. The thing is that our kids will forget to write birthday cards, our significant others will forget our anniversaries, and our parents will decide to go on a cruise instead of spending Christmas with us. That’s life. It doesn’t mean that you are loved any less, and it definitely doesn’t mean you are worth any less.
Take an inventory of all the love in your life.
I remember coming home after a particularly grueling week of medical school. I was a single mother of a 10-year old son who had been saving money for months to buy a Nintendo game he desperately wanted. Instead, he spent it all to buy me a dozen roses that were delivered to the house. To this day, those flowers are still one of the most loving gifts I have ever received. I still have the dried red rose petals and card.
Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love, it’s about appreciating all the love that exists in our lives. Not having significant other at the time should not diminish the other acts of love and kindness in my life or the love of my children, my friends, and my family.
Fall in love with yourself
Women often put themselves at the bottom of their priority list. Their kids, partners, and/or jobs often come first. But here’s the thing – there’s a reason that the flight attendant on the airplane tells you that if there is a loss in cabin pressure, you’re to put on your own oxygen mask before helping another. We must take care of ourselves first. As a young single mother, money was often tight so the idea of spoiling myself felt selfish and irresponsible. Eventually though I realized that the best gift I could ever give my child didn’t come wrapped in a box with a bow – it was for his mother to be whole.
So, whether you are alone or in a great relationship this Valentine’s Day – remember that the person most worthy of your love, is YOU.