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We shouldn’t need Valentine’s Day to show others our appreciation

If your social media news feeds were anything like mine last weekend, there were a whole lot of roses, candlelit dinners and even some Michael Kors watches.

Of course, there was also the occasional sad face, I-hate-being-single or I-love-being-single post.

Valentine’s Day seems to stir emotion in most people — whether positive or negative. I find that it tends to be black or white with no real gray area on the subject.

Whether you actively celebrated with your significant other, with your family or friends or you didn’t celebrate at all, know it’s okay. Really.

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret, that’s not really a secret at all: you can, and should, celebrate love daily. If you do, you’ll feel better all the time than you ever could on just one day of celebration.

To me, Valentine’s Day is a fun excuse to celebrate love, but I can’t say I understand the hype. And, I definitely struggle to justify spending copious amounts of money to express said love.

But, hey, I’m also the woman who took a picture of a card and printed it at home instead of spending $6 on it. Shh, don’t tell Hallmark.

The reason I struggle with the notion of spending money to convey love is because love is a vital part of life — everyday life. Without love, I’d argue it’s impossible to be truly happy.

Now, before you say it’s vital like food and we have to spend money on food, it is vital like food. But, love is vital and free, so you don’t have to spend money on it.

Love isn’t meant to be celebrated on just one day. It isn’t meant to be glorified — or in most scenarios over-glorified — on one day. It’s truly meant to be a foundation for your relationship with yourself and, then, with others.

You’ve heard it a million times: you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. I don’t know if I completely believe that. I do think you can love others while not loving yourself, but not wholly.

In my own life journey, I have learned that the more you care for yourself and the more positive your thoughts, the more fulfilling your relationship with yourself and others. And, by way of being purposefully positive, you learn to love yourself in the process, whether you intended to or not.

Make a commitment to love today and every day. Bring your significant other flowers on a random Tuesday because you can and because you love them. Write them a poem on June 12 just because June is the sixth month and six times two is 12. Seriously though, who cares why?

Celebrate love meaningfully and often because it’s one of the most precious values we have. It’s intrinsic. It’s inside us all. And, it’s meant to be shared. First, with ourselves and, then, with the world.

And, I think most would agree: the world could use a little more love year-round, not just on Feb. 14.

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