February being the month to celebrate “love” with Valentine’s Day on February 14th had me thinking about “love”. My mind went off in many tangents and I thought I’d share some with you.
When we think “Valentine’s Day” most of us think about “romantic love”. That’s the sort of “couples” love that for many signifies the immediate interpretation of the word “love”.
Valentine’s in our culture has come to signify a day of celebrating a romantic connection with someone special. But not all of us have that someone special in our lives to celebrate with. Does that mean some people should get left out of this celebratory time? I don’t think so.
So, what does “love” mean? The Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary defines love as
any number of emotions and experiences related to a strong sense of emotion”.
In fact, the word “love” may refer to a whole range of different feelings. From the ambiguous “I love that sweater”, to the enthusiastic “I love chocolate”; the platonic “I love you buddy” of loving your best friend, to the passionate love of a sweetheart or significant other, “I love you darling”.
In fact, we use the word “love” a great deal.
And then if you start to research St. Valentine, it all becomes even more confusing.
It appears there were many different St. Valentines and that the February 14th celebration might actually be a cover-up for a pagan celebration.
My brother insists that St. Valentine’s Day is nothing but a marketing scam and that we should ignore it. But how can we ignore a day for the celebration of love, when it is so diverse and meaningful in our lives?
This Valentine’s I suggest you make the day a celebration of love as you choose to make it. If that’s dinner and a movie with your sweetheart, go for it.
But don’t think that’s the only way to celebrate love.
Start with yourself!
How often do you admit to loving yourself? Not enough, I expect. Without love of self we can’t accept love from another, and we don’t know how to love another.
If you were to treat yourself as the most important loved one in your life for one day, this year being St. Valentine’s Day, what would it look like? How does your day look?
Will you rush out of bed into the shower, grab a coffee on the road and head into work. Or will you set the alarm clock a little earlier, have coffee in your robe, maybe read the paper or watch a little breakfast TV?
Why not make a lunch “date” with a friend or your kids? And what about the pet in your life, will you celebrate with them? Perhaps an extra long walk or snuggle by the fire?
One of my favorite movies and one I recommend to clients when they are feeling that the world is an unlovable and unloving place is “Love Actually”.
Okay, so it’s a Christmas movie as it is set at Christmas time, but I watch it year round. Although it’s classified as a “romantic comedy” it really is much more than that. It is about all types of love.
One of the most memorable parts for me is when Hugh Grant is doing a voice-over talking about how when 9/11 happened no-one was phoning out messages of hate. Those trapped and able to connect with the outside wanted to let the people they love know that they loved them.
(There is also a part about a lobster in the nativity play at school that absolutely appeals to me, but it doesn’t reinforce the love theme!)
Getting my husband to watch Love Actually with me, I suggested he suspend belief and just enjoy the movie. But secretly, I rather like to not suspend belief, and for a while ‘believe in the magic of love”.
This Valentine’s begin by loving you and then let everyone and everything that is important in your life and that you “love” know that you love them.
Don’t wait for a catastrophe; in fact, don’t wait until the 14th!
Just for today, get out and tell people that you love them! Let people know how much they mean to you.
Feeling alone? Find a place to volunteer and get out and meet people.
Watch uplifting movies and TV shows—I know CSI or Killing Eve is entertaining, but it doesn’t actually leave you feeling warm and fuzzy about people! Make a choice to bring more love into your life and to be more loving.
The real magic of love is that the more you give it away, the more you get. How cool is that?
I’m in Ottawa for Valentine’s this year (2020 updated), so if you’d like an appointment to see me just let me know 206-883-3482 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget, my Hypnotherapy/Clinical Hypnosis MP3s make fabulous Valentine gifts for you or your loved ones.
Keep well, enjoy the February love, and let’s keep it going