Friday, 13 February 2009

A Lonely Valentine's Day - How to Deal with it?

Many people really dislike Valentine's day because it reminds them of lost love or non-existant love. There is no hope of getting a traditional anonymous card or gift of admiration. Most men who are in a relationship are fretting about trying to find a gift. Of course, a man hates to feel obliged to show their love because of being asked to. Many women feel the same. One of the few times I got flowers sent to me they came very late in the evening because the owner of the local flowershop didn't have time to deliver them earlier. What a bummer! As it happens, the man who sent them was the only man who has come even close to actually loving me in a way that one would expect (I have to say that he did try very hard to make it work and he did come back for me as well). So of course that's a loss that is hard to forget until something better comes along - IF it comes along. Anyway - as I've approached middle age (lo and behold!) I've started to resent all the holidays that are being imposed on us. Most of them leave you feeling vacant and disappointed. I used to love Christmas but even that has turned into a nightmare as there's only me and my mother and we have no money to spend.

I've noticed that Americans are big on all sorts of holidays and special occasions, including the infamous American style weddings that leave people in debt for decades. Everything is done grand style, which truthfully is something many of us do dream of (but not so many are able to put into practice). I wonder how people hold it together. All the planning and decoration and spending money must take a great toll on everyone. With the obligation to keep smiling it must be a true nightmare at times if you are not able to share the burden with other family members. One trend I've noticed online though is the attempt to come up with days that have some kind of "positive theme". It could be kindness day which means that you have to say something nice about other people. I rebel since I don't want to be told when to be kind nor do I understand why I should have to be told to be kind in the first place! Another big theme is that of gratitude. If you ask me, I have a natural feeling about things and sometimes I feel grateful when it's appropriate and other times I'm angry because I have a reason to. I doubt that my life would change radically if I went around forcing myself to say gratitude about everything every day. Alright, alright, I understand that you're supposed to really feel it. Ok, I get the idea. But I hate to be preached about it. I'll still prefer the watercourse way, that of letting yourself feel what you feel and learn about the anatomy of your inner life in the process.

Maybe the sense of the end of times (c.f. all the apocalyptic prophesies and lightworkers' assemblies) create even more tendencies in people to want to preach a truth that is going to help save the world. I've talked about this before so you might as well just read my previous posts. I've noticed, though, that a certain barometer of spiritual sentiments has gone up big time in the past few years. I have no doubt that some of it is very healthy and a sign of caring and a sincere wish for growth. But some of it is simply annoying as it's attempting to enrouch on other people's belief systems so that we will all walk the "right" path towards salvation. Spreading the love by attempting to make people feel something when they aren't feeling it naturally is to me a bit of an abomination, because it usually entails the opposite as well which is to deny the negative feelings one might have. It would be much better to talk about mindfulness and the allowance of feelings to come and go in a natural manner. And I am implying, that it is truly a natural occurence. I also maintain that we will naturally feel what we need to feel when it's appropriate if we have learned to be open, flexible and allowing towards ourselves and have some understanding of the anatomy of feelings.

Cool off, take it easy. For the majority of us in the Western world it's going to be an oppressive Valentine's Day. But so be it. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you're feeling and I am sure you'll be relieved. If possible, pamper yourself and do nice things that takes your mind off the collective hysteria. If possible, meet some good friends. I'm invited to meet with some women who are about 20 years my senior. But they are good people and above all, they are real. I am done with trying to connect through the internet, especially with men. It's doomed to failure. If you ask me, I think a great part of the men who spend most of their leisure time by the computer are either hopelessly addicted nerds or real creeps.

Artwork: "Other than Chocolate", handmade collage especially commissioned for Valentine's Day 2009, all rights reserved.

The idea is to encourage people to show their love in many ways and not just by giving the traditional chocolate box, or the heartpatterned boxers, for that matter. Love shows in words and actions - that's when it truly comes into its own. Especially actions speak volumes... Companionship and the fusion of two people's love is like a special lock to be opened with a special key... which is yours? And how do you unlock another person's heart in - in the unique way that will do the trick for them? The star on the lock is an esoteric symbol of feminine and male in conjunction.


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  2. I immigrated to USA 26 years ago so I have both a European and an American perspective on holydays.
    Let me tell you, American holydays and occasions are so highly commercialized that it squeezes out all the fun and significance.
    Christmas especially has become the most stressful month - well with the exception of tax month April!
    I am married now so we make our own holyday customs emphasizing more on significance and less in gift and presents giving ;)

  3. How to deal with it? Just let it pass. If it means something to you and those around you then it will pass with the meaning born out of your life situation, not the social imperative. Loved ones should be celebrated each and every day.

  4. Thanks guys for commenting; my point was that these holidays come onto people very strong and especially those who are alone will often feel it acutely because they are meant to be celebrated in the company of friends and family and some of them are impossible not to take notice of. So I was basically sharing with others who may feel lonely and especially lonely because of these occasions. Those who are not lonely are not likely to understand what it may feel like. That's all.