Happy Heart Day, everyone....
I know that for many of us Valentine's Day is a great a day. A day filled with chocolates (that I can't have :(...), flowers, possibly jewelry, at the very least a card or home made valentine. It is a day to celebrate love and being loved. The joy of buying those adorable valentine's cards for your child's school classmates and sloppily writing their name on them because they have decided their arm is too tired after signing the first three, or as in the case in my house the twenty two valentines we made by hand. Decorated little hearts with bright colors only achieved by crayolas with the paper torn off and love.
But for some, it is just another day. And yet somehow even worse....it is a day that seems to force the idea that if you do not receive such gifts that you are somehow unworthy. Somehow less. Maybe even somehow unlovable. A day where many feel left out, depressed, and in a lot of cases, lonely. For many Valentine's day is just another day to further prove how alone they really are.....And it sucks.
Having a mental illness is rarely something that makes us feel like we special. It can make us feel odd. It can make us feel misunderstood. And in some cases it can make us feel like we are damaged or broken. Really it is just the self hate talking, but many times we feel like we are so messed up, so royally defunct that we are not just weird or "off" but also unlovable. And that is just not the truth. Holiday's like Christmas and Valentine's Day are supposed to embody family, relationships, and comfort. But what if you have none of those things? What if those relationships are almost nonexistent? Those family ties strained? That comfort as foreign as a snowball floating around in Hell? What then?
Walking down the street and being forced to see brightly painted decorations and huge billboards filled with happy smiles and kisses can have the opposite affect than intended. Instead of laughter and joy, it can bring pain and sorrow...and yes even loneliness too.
I have grown to dislike Valentine's day. I mean, I love the cards that we handmake but I detest the commercial side of it. I loath the idea that one must receive a gift to prove that they are loved. I despise the ridiculous force fed notion that one day a year is when we show others our compassion and our appreciation. I hate that commercials and billboards and ready made cards in bulk are what Valentine's Day has become. Not really, a day of romance or love but a day to buy and produce your offerings up to your loved ones like a sacrificial lamb. Like some atonement. Almost like a bribe. I have come to the realization that I don't need Valentine's Day to know that my family cares. I get that every day when I tuck my children into bed at night. When I have share a quiet morning with my husband and a good cup of coffee before we wake the kids for school. Every time I speak to a loved one or spend time with a friend. I have come to beleive that as Valentine's Day becomes more about keeping up the Jones's that we lose the beauty of what it used to be. What it was supposed to be. A day you take time to celebrate your love and respect, not with shiny baubles and over priced chocolate, but with paper doilies, markers, construction paper, and a glue stick. With hand written poems that are heart warming because they were written for you, no matter how horrible they are written. Heart shaped cookies baked for the kids with those silly red and white sprinkles. Time spent together without the forethought that this is what must be done for a successful Valentine's Day. I want none of that. I want my family around me because they want to be, not because that is what a jewelry company dictates.
And as this holiday continues to grow more and more about buying and less about taking time and thoughtfully creating, I am struck by how hard it must be that if the media says you don't get these things or do these things then you are less than. Unloved. Unlovable. And it bothers me.
We as sufferers really don't need that kind of tripe dangled under our noses, we already tend to feel negative things about our situations. Not all of the time, but man, when it hits...it hits hard.
So I propose something I like better than one day of fruitless jargon and overspending. I propose that for now on I will not buy into the notion that gifts prove your worth or your "loveability" as it were. I propose that instead of telling those that we care about how much we love them on one day, we strive to do it everyday. And why stop there? I propose that we go out of our way to be caring and supportive to other people as well. I propose that instead of buying things like chocolates or cards in bulk, we sit down and actually make something. Something that we think long and hard about. Something that we spend time on and not just go the easy way out and go buy it. And that we give it to each other for no reason! Except that we want to show our appreciation. Our respect. Our love.
I propse that one day a year is simply not enough. There are millions of people in this world and one day just doesn't cut it. I propse that we show our love and appreciation everyday and not call it something that has been sullied with commercialization and profit. I propse that we call it something more meaningful, like Heart Day. Because what we make and give and feel come from the heart not the pocketbook.
I propose that we all stop letting the media and large corporations tell us how to feel and when to feel it and that those of us that are single are losers, those of us that suffer from issues are unloved, and that those of us who do not go out and buy buy buy don't care enough. It's crap. All of it.
So since everyday is Heart Day for me, I would like to say this to all of those alone, all of those feeling lost and lonely, all of those that feel defunct and damaged....No one is unlovable. No one. It doesn't matter what the adds say or the commercials spew out. It doesn't matter what some asshat has said to you growing up, or some jerkface whispered behind your back at the coffee shop. It doesn't matter what you think of yourself when you look in the mirror. It doesn't matter if you never fit in. If your never felt like you were enough. If you never have had any kind of relationship that you could trust. It doesn't matter what color you are, what dress size you wear, what religion you are, or how many mental issues you have......Everyone.....Everyone is lovable. Everyone deserves respect, compassion, and kindness. Everyone deserves to be told that they matter and they are valid. Everyone deserves a heart day, not just today but everyday.
So, in keeping with that......HAPPY HEART DAY, EVERYONE!