Valentine’s Day is a weird day. It’s a day where most people go out of their way to show that special person how much they mean to them. Some may buy gifts; others arrange a special night or write a heartfelt message in a carefully chosen card. It’s a day for romantics, and that fact can either pull at your heartstrings or make you want to throw up. Nevertheless, Valentine’s Day offers up a great example of not only on how to treat each other, but how to treat ourselves.
Some people can say and perform acts of love that are fulfilling to another person, yet the negative thoughts and emotions they feel about themselves would shock them if they ever said them out loud to another person. For those suffering from depression or lacking self-compassion, Valentine’s can be a regular day of numbing emptiness. For some, it might be even harder; it’s a day where people flaunt affection but where you feel none for yourself. Depression is an illness and should be treated medically. However, I am not going to sit here and give medical advice without a degree in medicine. Nevertheless, many psychologists believe the road to recovery starts with understanding.
Everyone responds to and craves love in a variety of ways, and though you may not be this low, understanding our own ability to love can be a step in growth. If we understand ourselves and the way we love, it does not matter whether we are in a relationship or not. If you are in a relationship, great! So long as you are happy. If you are single, great! So long as you are happy. But how can you truly be the best person possible for those you love if you do not love yourself fully in the first place?
Whoever you are, we all receive and cherish the love we are given – whether you are partnered up or an independent lone wolf.
Dr. Gary Chapman writes about the 5 languages of love:
1. Words of Affirmation,
2. Quality Time,
3. Giving Gifts,
4. Acts of Service,
5. Physical Contact.
Depending on the person, some respond to certain languages more than others. Some need the good words to feel better; others give gifts to show their appreciation of someone else. Many feel special when someone helps them out or goes out of their way for them. There are those who just love spending time with loved ones, while some know they are loved when they receive a good old-fashioned hug.
The language varies on the person. For example, an individual can go months without seeing a loved one, but still feel close to them just by touching them. Personally, I love romance – give me roses and a place under the stars any time – but, this doesn’t have to be romantic. We express love to both friends and family, and receive it in our own unique way. If you know your own language, and your loved one’s language, then it will make life a lot easier.
What we often forget is that we are all special. Nobody on this planet has your experiences, memories or have walked in your shoes. Nobody has felt your emotions, what drives you, what makes you happy or stressed. If we realise our own specialness, and feel more compassion for ourselves, then we can take the message of Valentine’s Day and implement it in our everyday life – not only in the way we treat others but the way we treat ourselves.