Valentine’s Day is soon approaching, and some of us are secretly wishing for a surprise from a loved one or desiring that someone could love them. Love is a complex emotion. It can be full of fuzzy exciting feelings, and yet have a shadow of deep obsessive yearning. Nevertheless, Valentine’s Day stirs up complexity and can be confusing for young adults. Our culture bombards us with a narrative of what an “ideal” Valentine’s Day should look like. Hardly does anyone talk about what it is like for those experiencing heartbreak or those who are protective of their hearts in fear of rejection or broken trust.
Wouldn’t it be nice for us to celebrate Valentine’s day by loving ourselves first? How about giving ourselves roses, a box of delicious chocolate, booking a spa day, or gifting a bottle of sweet and delightful wine? Celebrating and loving ourselves for who we are, then expanding that love to celebrate those who mean much to us, would enhance love immensely. It will also help us to reach out to those who don’t have a Valentine to celebrate the day with.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to teach our children the value of selflove and how to expand their hearts to others? Being a mom of two teenagers, I often talk to them about the importance of self-worth and how loving themselves unconditionally allows them to open their hearts to receiving love. We need to start early with our children by creating positive emotions, as this lays a foundation for further relationships. Teaching our daughters to love themselves, and doing so through example, will help them grow into confident women that will always have a part reserved in their hearts for themselves. Teaching our sons to love themselves, also by example, will help them grow into passionate men: emotionally fulfilled and sharing of their love with their partners and children alike.
Caroline Fernandes is a holistic integrative psychotherapist & a wellness life coach.