My husband and I have been together for 12 years and we’ve never made a big deal out of holidays. Instead of buying each other gifts on Christmas, we take an annual trip to our favorite bed and breakfast. Birthdays aren’t much different— we see more value in shared experiences than possessions. So we’ll go to a concert together, take a trip or throw a party. My husband might cook me an incredible meal on our anniversary, maybe we’ll watch our wedding video, but that’s about it. And it’s not too different from any other day because he cooks for me several times a week. That’s how he shows his love and it’s one of my favorite ways to receive love.
When one understands what their partner needs to feel loved, that’s the magic key to a lasting relationship. Everyone wants to be loved differently, and everyone deserves to find a life partner that can love them like that. Then actions of love can be demonstrated everyday, not just on holidays, and not just through three words.
Actions on random days of the year carry so much more weight with me than a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day. In fact, I’d rather avoid the hype that causes single people to feel angry, lonely and resentful and the same hype that causes others to glorify their relationships for just one day. It’s not authentic! With the existence of social media, it’s become even more challenging to avoid this Hallmark holiday (aka “businesses make money” holiday).
If I had a wish for the world regarding Valentine’s Day, I’d ask for a collective shift in perspective on how we treat February 14th. If we no longer place our power and energy on one day, it no longer has meaning, just like so many things in life. And, of course, it starts with our kids. This culture of candies and hearts and love notes starts as a “fun” way to fill a youngster’s school day. What are we really teaching kids on Valentine’s Day? “You must be loved by someone in a romantic way to be a worthwhile person.” And that carries through until these kids are adults in their cubicles, obsessing over whether or not flowers will be delivered to them at the office. It’s insanity! And it’s something we can change.
Love everyday. Love in every way. Generate love from within, genuine love for the self, and then loving others becomes effortless.
How do we do that? Well, for me, it’s through my yoga practice, or a long walk, or even through writing. Any activity that gets me out of my head and into my body reconnects me to my heart. And my heart’s purest desire is to love with no boundaries.
Set your love free! And screw the holiday.