It is mid-February and with it the annual Valentine’s Day hoopla.

The history of the Valentine holiday is long and complicated. It began as a Roman fertility fest; centuries later an homage to Christian martyrs; later yet the canonization of a Catholic saint; and now the modern era of cards and candy that is promoted by greeting card companies and chocolatiers.

The one element common to all those historical references is… love. Generally speaking, that has come to mean the expression of unconditional love for another person.

While the idea of having an annual celebration of love is a noble endeavor, it ignores the fact that Valentine’s Day can also be a source of emotional turmoil and anxiety for many people. Especially for people who, by nature, are highly sensitive and vulnerable to emotional distress over unrequited love, personal rejection or the absence of any romantic relationship at all. Where’s the love in that?

The answer might be to recognize that, as Whitney Houston sang: Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all

Turns out ‘The Princess of Pop’ was on to something. In a blog written for the online mental health journal Psychology Today, Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. writes about the value of self love and offers a number of suggestions for how a person can develop greater affection for themself.

You can read more about the importance self love here

And of you’d like a little inspiration, here’s Whitney Houston

Apologies for the ad– feel free to skip it.

 

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