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.
Living with an open heart is to live freely in the present moment.
The only person we should ever devote the entirety of our heart to - despite what you see in the movies - is actually ourselves. Until we accept our mishaps, embrace our flaws and surrender to our inherent vulnerable nature, our hearts remain closed. So instead, we live - often captive - inside the mind. Decisions are made from logic and life just doesn’t seem to ‘flow’ as it should
How can we ever embrace each faulted human quality in others if we cannot accept our own?
Subsequently, we can eventually understand that it is not others who provide us with love, either. All that we feel and share with any partner originates from within. It is our hearts that hold the capacity to truly connect with other human-beings, but in order to do so we must first connect with ourselves. It’s often easier to distract ourselves with technology, future pursuits and external noise than to focus on how our heart might be feeling, but by doing so, we unlock the real answers we’ve all been looking for.
So my invitation this Valentine’s Day is to take a moment to really tune into the quality of your heart - whether it be full of bountiful energy or shattered ideologies. Whatever you do, don’t let anybody encourage you to close your heart. It is your intuition, your sat-nav, your inner wisdom, your strength, your courage and your absolute superpower.
Close your eyes. Place your two hands over your heart and breathe deeply through your mouth. Each warming glimmer, painful acknowledgement and grain of debris you find along the way has been lovingly sent to you as a gift from the beyond.