February has always seemed like an odd month to me, nestled in between hibernation-friendly January and blustery March. I’m speaking, of course, as someone who lives in the Northeast. It’s still officially winter here, even though we’ve had only one snowfall and it’s going to be 60 degrees tomorrow! This month always seems like a last-chance month to burrow in and let creative ideas germinate. And then February 14th sneaks up on us…
Valentine’s Day. Unless you celebrate a birthday during this month, most people associate February with this beloved or dreaded holiday. Even as a child growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, early Valentine’s Day memories were mixed–the big decorated box in our grade school classroom held exciting little envelopes from friends, but we learned early on who was popular and who wasn’t by the number of cards we received. And then as we got older, it became all about romance and that special someone in our life–or someone we wished was in our life. The commercialism surrounding the holiday grew to epic proportions as did sales of chocolate, red roses and sexy lingerie.
I’m not putting down Valentine’s Day. It’s human nature to want to be recognized by others, especially in matters of the heart. I still treasure a handmade doily valentine that someone special once sent to me. There’s no denying that humans are social beings and in many ways a lot like wolves–we live in packs of friends and family. But let’s not forget how important it is to nurture the individual, the lone wolf in us, and recognize that being alone doesn’t have to equate to being lonely.
I know that many people are uncomfortable being alone. But when we spend time alone with ourselves, we get to know the person we truly are, not just the one perceived by others.
Sometimes just paying attention to what it is you love to do–what makes your heart sing and puts a smile on your face–will give you clues to what your life’s purpose is. For surely we are meant to experience joy during our time on earth. Make a list of everything you love. I’m not talking about other people. We all love our children, our significant others, our friends and family. I’m talking about what feeds your soul. Even the silly little things–pencils, rowboats and clouds might seem boring to you, but they excite me!
Next, make a list of what you love about you. All the goodness that you are. My energy medicine teacher always says “Be kind to yourself.” I love it when she says that and so I’m passing it along to you. Be kind to yourself. When you begin to love yourself, your heart will expand and the love will radiate out to others. Make it your valentine to yourself this year.