I remember many years ago while working at the hospital on Valentine’s Day, a florist would deliver a large bouquet of roses or some other floral selection to the department and all of us nurses would gather around excitedly like trout to the chum hoping that we were the lucky one whose husband or boyfriend valued us enough to demonstrate it in this glorious public display of affection. If you were the honored one, then it felt awesome – you could allow yourself a sign of relief – you had been validated! He had sealed your position among the caste status system of women.
If you had not yet received a Valentine’s recognition and the flowers were not for you, you left dejected, suspended in an apprehensive state of unknowing. Would there be a sign of validation later in the day? Would it be equivalent or better than what others received? Does he love or care about me? Fear and disappointment was about set in and it was going to be a tough rut to climb out of regardless of all the other wonderful and thoughtful things that man did for you other days throughout the year.
I didn’t realize it then, but a few years ago I began to see things in a different light and became aware of what immense and undeserved pressure it is for a man to be compelled to provide; to be force into indentured expressions of love on a certain day of the year as deemed by commercial business and expected by the woman in his life. I’ve observed some men openly distain this tradition while other men take this task upon themselves with all the gusto of a provider; but my sense is that most do it out of obligation and a desire to provide something that is expected, not out of the joy of providing or as a genuine expression of love.
Now, I am not a complete Valentine’s hum-bug but I did wake up today feeling a bit sad and sorry for myself. I was then reminded by my daughter, “you are loved”. So I indulged in a moment of sorrow, then pushed myself firmly away from that buffet table by stepping in to gratitude. I’ve found that gratitude it the quickest way to shift me from sorrow to joy while reminding me of the wealth of abundance I have to be grateful for.
So that’s how I’ve chosen to make Valentine’s Day happy! I choose to position myself at the feast of gratitude and know that my value does not come from another person’s validation nor can it be represented by what someone can give me. I already have divine value. I know who I am. I am a daughter of God. (So moving forward, I intend to offer the men in my life a break and give them the gift of NOT having to celebrate Valentine’s Day!)