I was a bit shocked to see in an article, that there are people who give valentine gifts to their ‘work spouse’. Let alone their parents or children. May be that is just an American thing, I don’t know.
Valentine’s day is not something I particularly celebrate. My husband and I agree on one thing: it’s just another marketing gimmick and is no reflection of the love we feel for each other. If I was to take head of what the article says. as neither of us are romantic so it’s not for us anyhow.
If you want to know more about the origins of Valentine’s day, then follow the link for a great blog written by a friend and published author Angela Atkinson.
However, I digress. I think all this love talk is blinding us to one important fact. That is; who should all this love be for?
Who do you love?
To begin to clarify this issue, I have a little test for you which I hope will help. I would like you to think of the 5 most important people in your life:
Chances are you have listed parents, partners children if you have them, and/or friends. One of those might be your chosen Valentine.
However, what I would like to know is: where is your name on that list. Yes, you read that correctly, YOUR name. Because you are the most important person in your life.
It’s also likely that you are important to the people you have on you list. If that is the case then should you not be taking care of yourself, at least as much as you are taking care of the people on the list? In order for you to be able to help, support and be there for all the people you love on that list, you be well enough to be able to do so.
Self care or selfish?
Many feel guilty about taking time to look after themselves. Somewhere, they learned that it’s selfish. Nothing is further from the truth. It might be a British stiff upper lip thing; soldier on, don’t show what you are feeling and carry on regardless attitude. Or even a mother’s thing; that your children go first at the sacrifice of yourself. And so this pattern continues unchecked for generations. This behaviour continues to teach our children, that when they grow up, everyone matters more than they do. Their health and wellbeing comes last.
Yet caring for ourselves is not selfish, it is common sense. So much so, it’s mentioned on every single flight safety announcement: ‘Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others’!
Here is a lot more about this from my friend Carol Aplin at Pink and green skincare.
What you learn
Caring for yourself teaches you about yourself and all the qualities you might need to develop in order care and love someone unconditionally. If you don’t have £5, how can you give £5 to someone else. Love is the same, it takes courage, patience passion, enquiry, determination to care for yourself. Consider for example what you need to set out on a new exercise programme or if you decide to run a marathon. What skill do you develop when you learn a new skill like singing, dancing or art? Those skills you develop will serve, you in all your other relationships. In this way you are banking the £5 you will need when the time comes to give it to someone.
The right present
Let your heart not be of stone. For me the only thing that really needs a present this valentine’s day is our body. It really is a gift it enables us to feel and explore the world. Yet it’s often treat so badly. We need to be present and listen to it’s needs, not constantly ignoring or pushing it. Yes it might need a little encouragement, but not a beating, as I often see people do.
How would you behave towards it, if it was your valentine, if you loved it unconditionally, like the people on your list? Does it need a little tough love by abstaining from things you know are not good for it? Does it need to stop and have a rest even though there are things on the to do list? Or does it need to indulge it’s passion? Maybe taking time to do some art. Or is it to have a nice long soak in the bath, a walk in the hills, a massage…? Let me know for a chance to win a free Skype or face to face session.