February is the month for love. All around the world, people rush around looking for the perfect gift or the perfect activity to share with their better half. Why February? Is it because it’s the middle of winter in most of the world and we think that a little “love” will warm our hearts? Valentine’s day is either loved or despised. There are the ones who absolutely love to have an excuse to fuss over romance, and then there are others that either by choice, or by chance, find themselves alone wishing the day would just be over and that it is all part of the conspiracy of the flower/chocolate/ card industry conning people into spending some cash.
There is nothing more exhilarating than falling in love. Finding that perfect being outside of ourselves that fills that void, that longing, that yearning to feel whole. The world is in perfect alignment for a while, and all the stars are in our favor. Unavoidably, newness and excitement expires. There is no such thing as perfection and we find ourselves feeling that longing return from the pit of our souls. So, we bounce from relationship to relationship, from career to career, from one fad to another only to find ourselves still wanting for something more. Is there a solution to this madness?
How about falling in love with oneself? Not a narcissistic kind of love, or a selfish desire to exploit the world and others to our benefit. How does one fall in love? Chemistry, attraction, common interests, the desire to not be alone? It could be these and it could be many more. We are all familiar with the oxygen mask procedure demonstrated by a flight attendant prior to a flight. This safety demonstration is the perfect metaphor for how to show love. Love for others, and for ourselves. If a new mother, traveling with her toddler on a plane and air pressure suddenly drops, she is to first put the mask on herself and then put it on her child. Is that a selfish act? Not only is it not selfish, it is a matter of survival. A matter of life or death. So, it is with falling in love. How can one know what is like to truly love another, if there was never a falling in love with oneself? How does one appreciate the uniqueness and value of another, if there was never time invested in learning about the individual within? The chemistry is there, right? How can we recognize all those wonderful qualities in another, when we have no idea what lies beneath our own human shell? Instead we purposely go through our lives searching for validation of our own uniqueness from other people or other things and disappointing ourselves and others in the process.
So, this Valentine’s day, go inward. Discover yourself! Invest time in getting to know YOU, just as you would a new love interest. You are worth it!