It's that time of year: chocolates, flowers, jewelry. Sappy advertisements and red and pink store displays. There are reminders everywhere. It's Valentine's Day.
Sure, it's a bit commercial (understatement) but it's all good. We know that. It's beautiful to celebrate love.
But what about if you don't have a special someone or even your favorite chocolate already lined up for a great Thursday night? (Or perhaps you have a loving companion but you've somehow lost yourself in the relationship.) Whatever the reason, this day, with its cards and balloons, candy hearts and kitsch, is turning your mood 50 shades of a rather abysmal gray. Instead of bringing you a great sense of joy and intimacy, this so-called celebration feels more about absence or loss. And over the course of a day that seems to have somehow overlooked your very own precious self, you find yourself thinking, "I don't have a valentine."
To which we respond: What do you mean you don't have a valentine?
Of course you have a valentine.
Walk right into the bathroom. Grab a hold of the sink and look up. Yours will be right there waiting, looking you straight in the punim.
Even if you feel very alone at times, you always have a valentine. It's you.
That's right. No matter who is or isn't in your life, you are your own ultimate bashert.
And naturally, you're fabulous. How lucky you are to have you for a valentine.
Because when you're very your own valentine, you can celebrate any way you want.
How romantic it would be to buy yourself one perfect red rose. Not a whole bouquet. Just one perfectly closed bud representing your love for yourself. Take this vulnerable darling home and place it in a vase. All it needs is just a little bit of water.
Over the course of a few hours, watch your flower bloom as a symbol of you opening up to the undying expression of your own self love, showing yourself the greatest kindness, compassion and understanding, no matter what life brings.
Choose a song that opens your heart, and helps you dream a little dream, and dance with yourself. That's right, ignite your own boogie fever. Don't worry what it looks like. There are no rules here. You don't even have to watch.
Yes, it's scary to be vulnerable. Even to yourself. But it's also easy to be your own best valentine, the kind that promises extreme self care, extreme self empathy, extreme self respect. Because when you truly love yourself, every day is Valentine's Day.
So when you're ready, grab a pen and some paper, or maybe even some broken crayons, and make yourself a good old fashioned valentine. That's right, make some vows to yourself, to be true to yourself, and be your most authentic self. If you find yourself suddenly tongue tied, feel free to borrow these "Marriage Vows to Me" taken straight from the pages of my book, "Hot Mamalah."
It's true, Valentine's Day is a celebration of sweethearts. Of relationships. Of your chocolate tooth. We're not denying that. But that doesn't mean it can't also be about celebrating the sweetness of your own life and the most intimate relationship you always have, the one with yourself. Isn't it about time you commit to love, honor and cherish?
Now go on. Get real with yourself and bring a little romance to your game. Valentine's Day with yourself is EVERY day, forevermore.
That certainly sounds like a great romance to me.
Marriage Vows to Me © Lisa Alcalay Klug, 2012, Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guide for Every Woman of the Tribe
Mazal tov, now you're a hot mamalah!
How do you know you're a hot mamalah?
Because you don't have to work hard to be hot. You just have to be you. Your most authentic self is the hottest thing of all.
How can you be sure you're a hot mamalah?
Because a hot mamalah loves and respects herself.
How can you be positively certain you're a hot mamalah?
Because a real mamalah is her own best valentine, today and every day.
And when you wake up the morning after, how do you remember you're a hot mamalah?
You. Just. Do.
Lisa Alcalay Klug is the author of Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guide for Every Woman of the Tribe and Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Forward and many other publications. Visit her online at lisaklug.com, Twitter @lisaklug | Facebook.com/lisaalcalayklug.