Who will be my friend? (4ce). Dead silence meets this request. It is almost that sweet, and expensive, time of the year and many are dodging claims to friendship so as to minimise their expenses. At least, that’s the long running joke of this season.
It’s the first day in February and the D- day is just around the corner and as usual the media is already promoting the season of love. Claims and counter claims are flying around in relationships as everyone is anticipating what the other will use as their weapon of love declaration. Bickering couples are calling a truce; strained relationships are struggling to make amends; young children are on their parents to provide them with the perfect gifts for friends and teachers at school; churches and other religious groups are planning retreats for their singles in a bid to draw them away from the temptations of the flesh; singles are hopeful but resigned to the very likely probability that they will not be finding Miss or Mr. Right before February 14th; hopeless romantics are walking around with stars in their eyes; toasters are sweating it out, wondering how big is too big or how small is too small as they budget to splurge on their romantic interest (the right decision may determine how ‘lucky’ they get); kind hearted and spiritual people are getting together to show some love to the less privileged. To which group do you belong?
If you’re one of the sceptical ones who deride this season and loudly proclaim their resistance to pomp, well …I beg to differ. Valentine is a great day and for some of us who have created our very own special group, it is an awesome day. Want to know why? Because it is that one day of the year where we can splurge on ourselves and feel so not guilty. For many of us who have a ton of responsibilities (and in this country, most of us do), this is that time when indulging yourself and feeling good about it can go hand in hand. Check this: at Christmas, you focus on buying gifts for the family and may even end up not getting anything for yourself. At Easter, you spend time in spiritual reflection and renewal. The New Year is about making changes and planning new things …but Valentine – it’s about loving your neighbour as yourself and in order to really love your neighbour, you have to learn to love yourself… Hmmm, I hope you’re getting the point now.
So, a few years ago, some of us started what we fondly call the ‘Love myself ’movement. Yes, it is great to give to others but it is also great to give to ‘you’. Instead of waiting for someone else to give us gifts and make us feel special, we just do it ourselves. We’ll buy that really cute bracelet we’ve been admiring, indulge in the expensive beauty treatment that comes with a complimentary glass of champagne, buy the nice shirt that would look fabulous with our complexion, smell like we want to by buying that designer perfume, take a few hours and go catch a movie or just trail the mall. We’ll treat ourselves to what we want – whether it is a little ‘alone’ time or something material. Don’t get me wrong – please open your hands and receive, with gratitude, any gifts that come your way. More importantly, stretch out your hands and give, with appreciation, to those you love, especially the less privileged. But in all you do, remember that the truly happy are those who are happy within themselves so give to yourself, particularly on special days like this. And before you hiss and sarcastically say that the ‘Love myself’ movement is for losers who are unable to inspire anyone to give them gifts, think about this…..Little or big, whatever gift you give to ‘you’ will be something you really want, so it is something you’ll really enjoy, right? That way, this Valentine, you are certain to get a gift that is perfect for you.
Happy Valentine’s Day!