With Valentine's day approaching, I've been thinking a lot about love. As I've expressed in the past, I believe that every act we do in one of love or one attempted at love. Our lives are shaped by and for love. For this reason, so many of my articles are based around love & I thought I'd take some time to unpack some ideas that have been coming up recently.
1. You are always in a relationship on Valentine's Day.
The over glorification of Valentine's Day causes a lot of people to end up feeling "alone" on Valentine's Day because they are not in a "relationship." I put the words alone and relationship in quotes because while we may feel this way, it is important to recognize that that is simply not the case.
Our whole lives are shaped around relationships, so while you may not have a boyfriend or girlfriend at this time, recognize that you have countless other relationships that fill your life with love: your family, your friends, and most importantly, yourself.
On a Valentine's Day where you might be "missing" a romantic relationship, use this as an opportunity to celebrate all the people, including yourself, who make your life exactly what it is meant to be: one where you are in relation to others.
2. Reframe the phrase "you are loved more than you know."
I saw a post recently for someone's birthday and they said "I love you more than you know." It's a phrase that is used so often and one I've heard countless times, yet it recently struck a chord within me. Why would we want to love people more than they know? Shouldn't we tell people how much they are loved always if we feel that way about them?
Maybe this is my words of affirmation love language coming out, but to me, loving someone more than they know is not loving them at all. The people we love ought to know how but they are valued and cared for.
Being in a relationship with others means being vulnerable, being open about our feelings with others. So, tell them you love them, show them you love them, do what you can so those you love never doubt it.
3. No reason is needed for loving.
I am currently reading The Alchemist by Paul Coelho (great read) and there is a quote that goes:
"One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving."
I love this quote because it recognizes that everyone is worthy of love and loving. I think it is easy to get caught up in the reasons we love someone and it is important to understand what it is about a person that causes us to feel that way about them. Yet it is just as important to realize that their existence, their humanity already presumes a loveability.
This quote also shows us that we don't ever have to doubt loving too much because there is no reason for loving, we can love whoever we want, whenever we want because quite frankly, that is what we are here to do.
4. Love and do what you will.
I went to a mass recently and the priest's homily was about this phrase. So often, it is easy to think that we can do whatever we want and that is true, but when we reframe our actions into love being the foundation and intention, then everything that comes after it will be actions grounded in something greater.
This phrase is a call to remember that our actions go further when we first take the time to root them in love.
Take some time to pause when you might want to respond right away to certain situations and remind yourself to love first, and then act.
There is nothing more important to me than building a life for myself in which I am in relationship with others every day, in which I love every day. I hope one, or all, of these thoughts resonated with you. Happy Valentine's Day, readers. May you always feel loved and cared for.