You made it to March and dodged another Valentine’s Day. Now that February 14 has gone, the world has once again survived Valentine’s Day, a commercially created holiday for which there are no wining scenarios.
If you have a significant other relationship you like, there are Valentine expectations of what should or shouldn’t be and the pressure of giving a special gift. And, of course, with expectations come disappointment when the reality of the day doesn’t match the mind’s image.
If you are not in a significant other relationship then loneliness, feeling left out or wondering what is wrong with you and possibly the feeling of being unloved is emphasized.
If you are in a relationship but not happy, there is the pain of what is no longer. Those who have lost a loved one are reminded of their painful loss.
A less stressful Valentine’s Day could be redefined to celebrate the gift of being loving to those around us – the small child who bumps into us, the cashier at Lowe’s, the driver who cut in front of us. For a day, we could focus on giving the gift of compassion and empathy to the world we touch that day.
Just as a loving God grants us love and grace as flawed humans, so on Valentine’s Day could we have compassion for others as our focus. We might even extend compassion and empathy to ourselves all year through in the form of the love that Valentine’s Day represents.
Counseling Corner articles are written by Dr. Joanne MacPerson, founder and director of the St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center. For more information about the Counseling Center call 407.876.4991 ext. *250 or click here to visit the Counseling Center webpage. Free workshops, classes, and care resources are also available at St. Luke’s. Contact the Care Office at 407.876.4991. ext. *262.