How to Enjoy a Sovereign, Self-Actualized Valentine’s Day
Hearts, roses, chocolate, cards with words of endearment, stuffed animals, and jewelry. Ah, the icons of a modern-day Valentine's celebration. The traditional, mainstream attempt to distill the concept of love down into a single day, filled with uninspired gifts and tokens of affection has given me pause. As a woman on a newly sovereign journey, rediscovering the world through a new lens, I am reflecting over the past year, which has been filled with challenges, but also triumphs. Along the path back to rejoining my true self, my higher self, my closer-to-self-actualized self, I have met many great loves. These aren't typical loves. These are loves I may have overlooked had I continued to see life through the old, scratched-up, socially conditioned lens I'd worn in the past.
So, this year, I've decided to celebrate Valentine's Day in a non-traditional, non-commercial fashion. How does a sovereign, self-actualized person embrace all there is to glean from love? Here are some steps to take to create your own path of discovering the great love that is likely right there in front of you or just around the corner, waiting for you to greet it:
Know the different types of love! Love is a many splendored and multi-faceted thing. Here are is a quick reference list for all the love available to you:
- Eros- Romantic Passionate Love (think Cupid and Arrows)
- Philia- Friendship Love (can be acquaintances, family or BFFs)
- Storge- Familial Love (mostly focused on parent/child relations)
- Agape- Altruistic Universal Love (compassion for all beings, physical and non-physical)
- Ludus- Playful, Free-flowing Love (non-committed, casual relationships)
- Pragma- Practical Love (based on a more goal-oriented arrangement)
- Philautia- Self-Love (intrinsically-motivated, unconditional regard for self)
Identify the key players in your game of life!
- Write out the 7 Types of Love on a sheet of paper (use the GOOD pen. The one that feels like butter on the page as you scribble!)
- Next to each type, write the names of the people, groups of people, elements of nature, situations, that fit into the different categories.
- Reflect on the roles your key players have in your life.
Check for Balance
- What categories have less/more activity than the others?
- Decide for yourself which categories, if any, would benefit from a little more openness or allowing for this type of love to find you.
Open Your Heart
- Give yourself permission to receive love of all kinds.
- Set an intention to step into a state of allowing and receptivity, even if it is bit out of your comfort zone at first.
- Once you begin to experience the fullness of the love that is seeking you, it will become easier and easier to acknowledge and let it in.
- When you feel gratitude for someone, blessed to be in someone's life, or generally satisfied with a collaborative situation that went well, say what's on your heart.
- Use the word "love" more often- use it in the many dynamic ways it was intended.
- Sit with the feeling of love when it shows up. Soak in all the goodness and warm-fuzzies that come your way.
- Find daily ways to remind yourself of your worth.
- Write yourself a love letter.
- Take yourself out for a delicious day of fun.
- Look yourself in the eyes in mirror. Practice saying "I Love YOU!" to you!
Spread the Love
- Notice the little things that happen along your journey and say "thank you" out loud.
- Smile at a stranger and send them well wishes in your mind as you cross paths.
- Sit in nature and express your gratitude to the flora and fauna that you encounter. ("Thank you, flower, for being so beautiful today." "Thank you, butterfly, for floating past me just now.")
- Tell someone you care about just how much they mean to you, even if you think they already know.
The BEST part about engaging in a Sovereign, Self-Actualized Valentine's Day is that it is FREE! No need to drain your bank account to prove your love, no need to feel obligated to eat the extra calories in that heart box of chocolates, no standing in long lines to get into the fancy restaurant. The steps on your new path to finding "true love" are all natural, available 24/7 and cost nothing but a little shared heart energy to give and receive.
Article by Madison L. Akridge