As Valentine’s Day approaches, we are met by a colourful display of partnership, intimacy and connection. Arriving through shop-front windows, our peers messages on social media and the stranger who walks along the street with a bouquet of roses resting between his hands, we are continually reminded of the importance of love in our lives.
Whether perceived as a commercial gag or special occasion, Valentine’s Day allows the true state of our hearts to surface. Simple, loving gestures that deem beautiful to so many can, however, often invite feelings of sadness, anger or emptiness to those who remain unattached. Although self defence seems like the easiest route to travel - whether through laughter or rolling our eyes - I would prefer to utilise Valentine’s Day to practice self expression, vulnerability and authenticity with ourselves.
As we ride through these few weeks of February, we must actually learn that it is not the people in our lives that have caused us to feel unloveable, but rather they merely reflect our own shadows within; parts of ourselves we allowed to be touched by those who bid to provide a world of belonging and trust. Although painful, this is a beautifully brave example of the human condition; one that allows in all of the love and pain, the beauty and the beast.