Parenting is… expressing our love to our children like it’s Valentine’s Day every day

Posted on February 16, 2020

Parenting is… expressing our love to our children like it’s Valentine’s Day every day

Think about it: There are some socially conditioned habits that we all adopt and spend millions of dollars on globally. Yes, I’m referring to Valentine’s Day. Over the last 10 years, as my kids went to college and I had more time to reflect on life, I found myself increasingly disconnected from this holiday. It felt “commercial” and “marketing-driven.” We actually spend close to $22 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day, all to express a feeling that is totally free! (Of course, the consumerism involved moves the economy and keeps us employed in different industries.)

Even though I was disenchanted with the holiday, I kept up the surface niceties with the family. But I didn’t have my heart in it. I simply wasn’t going to be sold on Valentine’s Day anymore.
However, last Friday, something shifted in me. I decided that I was going to experience the day without resistance or judgment. Basically, I committed to act and react from my heart and not my mind.

As I was walking into my early morning spin class, I noticed two sets of parents with young children holding hands and walking into the breakfast place a few doors down. The kids were wearing red sweatshirts, hair bows, and scarves. The unusual scene brought a big smile to my face. In my cycling class, our instructor was wearing a bold red tank top, and the entire playlist she had chosen had the word “love” in the song titles. At the end of class, she said, “Showing up here is loving yourself. Bravo!” Then she passed out a red heart-shaped chocolate to each of us as we walked out.

“Was there something truly in the air that we collectively, intentionally create on Valentine’s Day?” I asked myself. To explore this idea further, I wandered into my local grocery store. I didn’t really need anything, so I decided to get a cart and pretend I was shopping, but my attention was fully focused on observing people and my reaction to them. What I noticed were more smiles, more laughter, more greetings, and more interactions at the checkout stands. (I had picked up a couple of things just to be part of the checkout line.)

All day my phone buzzed constantly, conveying heartwarming messages, humorous texts, and some raunchy ones, too! My kids sent the cutest pictures with their significant others, and as for the three phone meetings I had, each one started and ended on a high-frequency holiday note. Social media was filled with love pictures, messages, and quotes. As the day went on, I found myself laughing more, smiling more, and feeling surprisingly uplifted.

Here are the couple of conclusions that I was left with when the day was over:

1. As humans, we have an innate tendency to get caught in a rut. If it weren’t for Valentine’s Day or Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or Fourth of July, would we ever stop to celebrate and value our connection with each other?

2. What if we intentionally, willfully, courageously, and collectively infused a high-frequency feeling of love into the air we breathe every single day? What would that feel like for us at the end of each week, month, year, or lifetime? Wouldn’t we be healthier, happier, enjoy the gift of this life more?

Here’s the bigger question: What would that world look like for our children? With mental health, anxiety, stress, depression, and self-harm becoming more and more common among even elementary-age children, is this not the prescription they need?

Can we express our love, lift our children up, hold them close, and spend time with them like it’s Valentine’s Day every day? Let’s do that. Raise the frequency of love at home with your child or children. Ask friends, neighbors, and family members to join you. Collectively, we have this power.