You’re Not Your Valentine’s Day Present

DenaFebruary 13, 2011

“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fuc*ing khakis.” —Tyler Durden, Fight Club

One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite movies. And although it’s dangerous to mess with perfection—I’m going to add to it: You’re not your Valentine’s Day present!

Valentine’s Day Is Not About Love

The same exact card, flowers, and chocolates that you purchase for whatever outrageous price on February 14th will be marked 50% off on February 15th and 75% off on February 16th. Valentine’s Day is not about love. Because love is not about overpriced roses and candy. Valentine’s Day is about consumerism. It is about guilting men into spending money to prove their love for the women in their lives. It is about making women feel devastated about themselves if they do not have a valentine or do not receive some expensive token of love on February 14th.

Valentine’s Day is not about love. It’s a Hallmark holiday that hurts a lot of people. It makes people feel guilty and/or depressed for no reason at all.

Please do not define your self-worth based on what you receive for Valentine’s Day or who you spend February 14th with. Please do not believe that because you do not receive a dozen roses at the office or a Tiffany bracelet at dinner that you are somehow unloved or unworthy of being loved. You are not your Valentine’s Day present or lack thereof.

Love Is…

The truth about love is that it does not exist within a card, a box of chocolates, a dozen roses, or a jewelry box. The truth about love is that exists everywhere, in everything, all around us, every moment. Love is the sunshine in the morning. Love is the wind that blows the hair out of your face. Love is when your cat purrs. Love is when your newborn child smiles at you for the first time. Love is in the food that you eat and the water that you drink. Love is the smile from the stranger that you pass in the street.

“Love is the beginning of the journey, its end, and the journey itself.” —Deepak Chopra

Love can exist between two people, but it can also exist in nature, in art, in friendship, in families, and in all things. Most importantly love exists within you. It emanates from your heart and radiates out into the universe at every moment. Love warms you and moves you. The invisible energy that wakes you up each morning and carries you through your days—that is love. It is with you always and in all ways. You have enough love within you to light the sky. Share it with the world, share it with yourself.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. —Buddha

Recognize, understand, and believe that nothing outside of you—no person, no present—will ever be greater than the love that you carry within.

Give Love, Get Love, Be Love

So instead of wishing, hoping, praying, or crying this February 14th, I urge you instead to share your love with the universe. The more love that you give, the more love that you will receive. Love is energy.

Here are a few ideas for how you can be love today:

  1. Call a friend that may be going through a hard time. Simply let her know that you are there and that you love her. Don’t ask about her life, don’t tell her about yours. Just tell her that you love her, are thinking of her, and want her to know this.
  2. Volunteer at your local animal shelter. You might not get to it on February 14th but call your local shelter and ask when you can come in. There are thousands of homeless animals where ever you are and spending time with them just once a week can make all of the difference in their precious, little worlds.
  3. Clean out your closet and donate what you don’t wear to a local charity. Think about the man, woman, or child who might benefit so greatly at the joy of receiving something that you don’t even wear.
  4. Visit with an elderly grandparent, aunt/uncle, or neighbor. Bring cookies. Look at their old photographs. Read them the newspaper. It might only take an hour, but it will mean the world to them.
  5. Take time to love yourself. Do what you love. Make time to paint, practice yoga, bake, take a bath, read, or do whatever it is that you love to do. Love yourself and watch the love light within you shine out to the world.

Happy February 14th, my loves. Please remember that you are not your Valentine’s Day present. Spread love today and be love everyday & always. I love you.

Comments (26)

  • Dena Botbyl

    February 14, 2011 at 3:27 am

    evolution you | You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present

  • Dena Botbyl

    February 14, 2011 at 3:29 am

    @enemyofdebt Remember the suggestion you left on my V-Day post last year? Well, I did! Lookie, lookie: Thanks, buddy.

  • Brad Chaffee

    February 14, 2011 at 9:33 am

    The movie Fight Club just gives us so much to chew on, doesn’t it? I share your love for that movie and I can’t even count the number of times I have watched it! One of the best movies ever made in my opinion.

    I saw last year’s post where I suggested you write this post. LOL It’s so cool that you actually wrote it! I love it!

    Tyler Durden would be proud!

    This year my wife and I decided, as we usually do, to skip the shopping fiesta. I love my wife so much and she knows she is not the Valentine’s Day present I never bought. (I’m going to cook her a really nice dinner instead!)

    I did purchase some roses to be delivered to my daughter in PA though. 🙂

    1. Dena

      February 14, 2011 at 10:21 am

      @ Brad – I can not thank you enough for the inspiration. I sat down to write my Valentine’s Day post last night and hit a bit of a wall. I looked at last year’s post and found your comment. The rest is history. It was a brilliant idea, from a brilliant mind–yours.

      You’re so right about Fight Club. It was is one of the few movies that I can watch over & over, getting something new & valuable from it every time.

      You’re an awesome husband and a fantastic father. The ladies in your life are lucky to have you today and everyday. I, too, am grateful for your presence in my life! Have a great one.

  • Dena Botbyl

    February 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    New Post: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present

  • Dena Botbyl

    February 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    evolution you | You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present:

  • Derek Earl Baron

    February 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    RT @denabotbyl: evolution you | You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present:

  • Brad Chaffee

    February 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    RT @denabotbyl You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present

  • Dena Botbyl

    February 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove @galadarling

  • Gala Darling

    February 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    RT @denabotbyl: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove @galadarling

  • Peggy-Ann Dretti

    February 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    PLEASE READ & RT <3 RT @galadarling: RT @denabotbyl: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove

  • sara whittemore

    February 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    RT @denabotbyl: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove @galadarling

  • Brad Chaffee

    February 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Awww, thank you Dena! I appreciate your very kind words. 😀

    I have very much enjoyed your work as well as our friendship. One of the greatest things about blogging is the wonderful friendships that are made, but also the “market of ideas” that those relationships create.

    Here’s to an awesome 2011! 😀

  • chloefh

    February 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    RT @denabotbyl: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove @galadarling

  • Eva Morales-Viñas

    February 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I love reading this <3 RT @denabotbyl: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove @galadarling”

  • Dena Botbyl

    February 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    RT @evestr: I love reading this <3 RT @denabotbyl: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove @g …

  • Katherine

    February 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    RT @evestr: I love reading this <3 RT @denabotbyl: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove @g …

  • Katy

    February 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

  • Mary

    February 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    RT @denabotbyl: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove @galadarling

  • Christiana

    February 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    RT @denabotbyl: You're Not Your Valentine's Day Present! ♥ #radicalselflove @galadarling

  • Dena Botbyl

    February 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    @Sariantchi @missemmamm @chloefh @thecosmicoutlaw Thank you all so much for the RT's of my Valentine's Day post! ♥

  • To All of You I Wish I Knew « The Accidental Cootchie Mama

    February 20, 2011 at 6:01 am

    […] I read everything Dena posts. She is a wise lady and a poignant, talented writer. We met when she found a blog post I wrote about Paris. She was heading there for the first time, and she asked me all sorts of questions about things to do there. Dena is a life coach and speaker, and her insights are uplifting, challenging and always engaging. […]

  • Jr9jam

    February 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    its a fun holiday and its nice to show people you care with sweets or flowers or a simple phone call or text to wish someone a happy valentines.   and everything is 1/2 price the day after   but who wants a xmas tree on the 26th

  • Anonymous

    February 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I just discovered your blog last night. There has definitely been a void in my Google reader when it comes to blogs I love and the life I love, and I’m totally in love with your blog. This post is wonderfully worded and a perfect theme for today.

  • hayley

    February 17, 2013 at 12:34 am

    valentines day must be diff here. jewellery is the same price before as it is after valentines etc. there are soppy cards and chocolate gift boxes you can get not that i buy them. that said, sometimes it is nice to get something small. its not about the thing itself but that someone took the time to think of you and what you like. just because they didnt get you anything doesnt mean they dont love you or think of you. there are plenty of ways apart from this to show your love but i wouldnt say this doesnt mean that buying something small that you now the person will enjoy is abad thing

    1. denabotbyl

      February 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      I agree with you completely, Hayley. Sometimes it can be so sweet and special to receive a thoughtful gift from a loved one. This post is not geared at those who do give/receive; but that those who place the value of love on material items. Gift or no gift — there is so much love to be had. <3

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