Valentine’s Day is a holiday that brings up mixed feelings for me. I have been single for the majority of my adult life, with a series of the kind of dating experiences that made for good story telling (and that’s about all).
One year, I had a boyfriend who was actually willing to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me. In an attempt to foster some badly needed emotional intimacy, I asked him what he wanted for our future together. The answer was — he wanted me to pay for more things. So, I paid for our dinner and started contemplating our break-up.
I prefer to think of Valentine’s Day as a way to celebrate all types of love and to cultivate feelings of love, in general. Here are 3 non-romantic ways to celebrate:
1. Love yourself — address what you’ve been neglecting
Everyone has one part of their life that they want to attend to but don’t prioritize. Maybe you’ve been ignoring a nagging pain. Or you just can’t seem to make it to the gym or that yoga class you like. Take this time to nourish yourself and attend to your needs — whatever that means for you.
I have a tendency to prioritize work around the house over my emotional needs. I plan to work on my vision board and take a restorative yoga class in honor of Valentine’s Day.
2. Love someone else — write a love letter
Take this opportunity to tell someone how much they mean to you by writing a love letter. The letter can be to anyone — a friend, family member, or even someone who has passed. You don’t even have to send it. It’s more important to just connect with your heart. If you decide to share your feelings — even better!
3. Love everyone — loving kindness meditation
Romantic love is only one of the ways we can love. Loving your neighbors, the strangers on the train, the person who cut you off in traffic — that is masters level loving!
Practice with a loving kindness meditation. Find a guided meditation here: https://www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditation-loving-kindness-2/, on www.yogaglo.com, or elsewhere online.
Wishing you all kinds of love!
Originally published at www.carolynwalkley.com on February 11, 2016.
Originally published at medium.com