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February 19, 2017 by Indra Kubicek
February - for many Western countries this month is thought to be all about love, particularly a time to express romantic love. Valentine's Day, being the climactic event, when lovers (mainly our men) are meant to show their partners just how much they love them.
A beautiful concept in theory, but sadly (in my opinion) in practice this day has been slightly manipulated by commercialism and morphed by the advertising industry. And for a lot of people (mainly women I believe), it leaves them with feelings of inadequacy if they are not currently in a romantic relationship. Even despite having many other wonderfully flourishing loving relationships in their lives, that perhaps are working a lot better than many romantic relationships we've all found ourselves in.
Or even worse, for those who are a in a loving relationship, some may end up judging their partner, setting all sorts of expectations for what their partner "should" do for them / say to them on this day, to express how much they "really" love them. Comparing to others can escalate now more than ever with social media on top of the signs in every shop you walk past, leading to far too much drama (much of it living in women's heads, not communicated). From the flip side, I also think Valentine's Day could go both ways, as I am sure many guys like to have nice expressions of love too.
Whether I have been in a relationship on Valentine's Day or not (and I have had plenty of both of these), I've never totally fell in love with the day. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved and been very appreciative when a boyfriend did something sweet for me, putting his effort and attention into showing me his love. That of course made me feel very happy and special, as I am sure most of us can agree that deep down all we really want is to feel loved and cared about.
Which actually brings me to my proposal for a new purpose for Valentine's Day, one which could be full of an even greater love, universal love. I think we should consider ditching the couples concept of Valentine's Day (ladies please go with me here, even for a few years?) because right now, the world is in desperate need of some loving. And let's be honest, there are 364 other days of the year to show your love for your partner in a much more authentic way (and you can still do this on the 14th), but let's focus on this concept of spreading the love.
I propose on February 14th we swap out "Valentine's Day" with "Love for Love's Sake Day". A day in which we'd celebrate unconditional love, acceptance, loving kindness, self-love, and love for humankind. The kind of connecting love, through the human experience, binding all of us on this planet as one. Maybe we need a new word for this love?
It's the kind of love that allows you to smile at a stranger, enables you to open your heart to someone who doesn't do things your way or in accordance with your expectations. The love that encourages you to be the first one to tell someone "I am sorry" in the middle of an argument when all you can feel is that you're the one who deserves an apology.
It's the love that softens us to admit that we were wrong, when all our ego wants is to "be right". Or possibly, it's the hardest kind of love to tap into, the love for ourselves. That self-love where we find we can forgive ourselves, accept and love ourselves "not in spite of our flaws but because of them" as they say. The capacity to reach that place of love is where all our external loving opportunities stem from.
So with the current state of the world, I can't help but say "what the world needs now is love, sweet love". The deepest and rawest of love. The kind where the vulnerability almost feels too much to take, until you step into the love and there you are - and you're okay. And hey, maybe it even feels a bit nice just to surrender to this love, give it out to world, because that is how we realise the true abundance and infinite nature of love.
And in that loving space look around, and you might even find your partner, your friends, your family, your colleagues, your neighbours, your enemies, your ex-lovers, and strangers alike, have all joined. Imagine all the world meeting there.
It is perhaps the cheesiest of requests and comes from the most hopelessly romantic side of me, but if we could all just take the chance to put our trust in that kind of love, I think we'd continue to fall in love with ourselves and each other, every day, not just on February 14th.