Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Are you ready for it? It’s interesting because I’ve heard people rumbling about it for weeks—almost more than any other day of celebration. It seems to have created a lot of anxiety in people (single folks and those in relationships).
Some complain with “bah humbug” disdain, stating that the day is only a commercialized excuse to sell cards and candy.
Others are sad that they are alone and feel like it’s a day to make single people feel bad.
Still others are in love with the idea of love and seem more attached to romantic gestures and displays of love than the person they actually claim to love.
There are more scenarios, but you get the picture. People everywhere have an opinion about a day that’s dedicated to the celebration of love. It’s no wonder as love is the essential feeling that ties us together, ensures our continued existence, and makes us feel better than the most high-priced drug. Some even call it a drug. Yet, at its core, it’s the most basic human need that can heal all ails.
When an infant is given love and a secure environment, that love floods their brain and bodies with all the rich hormones and chemicals needed later in life for resilience, adaptability and intrinsic happiness. No wonder we spend so long chasing after the feel good safe experience—especially if we didn’t get the full dose of comfort we needed as an infant. This isn’t about blaming your mother though. It’s about taking steps now to give yourself what you need, so that you can approach your loved ones and Valentine’s Day with realistic expectations and attain the satisfaction you crave.
The number one challenge when approaching love (and Valentine’s Day) is that we’re often trying to get something we desperately desire that, in actuality, we can only give ourselves. Thus, we feel frustrated by our own unmet needs while feeling taxed by the demands from our loved ones.
Note the vicious cycle—how can we give something to someone that they can only give to themselves while we feel simultaneously depleted? It’s like two racecars expecting each other’s engines when they were only supposed to enjoy the experience of racing with each other.
To break the cycle, here’s the self-assessment to help you fill your own engine (your heart) so that you can enjoy the race (life/love/activities/making memories) with your loved ones…
ASSESSMENT - Take a piece of paper and divide it in two columns. In one column, write down all of the loving things you’ve done for others. It can span all time and all relationships. Be sure to include any loving acts and accommodations that you feel good about. In the second column, write down the loving things you’ve done for yourself. Think about any dreams in your heart and actions you’ve taken to allow yourself to achieve them. Which list is longer? Write about any feelings and reactions you’ve had in examining the two lists.