Valentine’s Day is often about the pressure to love someone else, and the hope that they love you back. But before we focus on loving others, shouldn’t we start with loving ourselves? If we as society truly value and treat this holiday with deference, lets make it an all-inclusive holiday that anyone has the ability to appreciate.
Humans are given the ability to love, and we should use this day to celebrate how powerful love is. Although it seems as if love is idealized, today is a day to feel every kind of love through our whole body and heart and mind. The fact that love is often a deciding factor in our choices makes love extremely powerful.
Those who are somewhat sardonic in response to Valentine’s Day cheer often find themselves upset because they are single on a “couples holiday.” What these people should feel is empowerment and self-love on this day.
In 1956, psychologist and social philosopher Erich Fromm proposed that loving oneself is different from being arrogant, conceited or egocentric. He proposed that loving oneself means caring about oneself, taking responsibility for oneself, respecting oneself, and knowing oneself (e.g. being realistic and honest about one’s strengths and weaknesses). He proposed, further, that in order to be able to truly love another person, a person needs first to love oneself in this way.
The most efficient way to be productive is to be positive. Valentine’s day is totally awesome because it is one of the few days in which it is socially acceptable to watch an entire FRIENDS marathon or eat a full carton of really good ice cream. Without looking at this action as something we do to cope with being a single, independent person, lets look at it as taking time for ourselves unconditionally. Author Inga Muscio encourages us to “discover oneself in the universe”, to find a connection with the natural world, the instinctual self and our community, and to recognize the cycle of activity and rest, beauty and ugliness, that gives rhythm to life. By spending Valentine’s Day in this way, we are taking advantage of the opportunity to get steps ahead in our development of self-love.