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Sweatpants & Soul | A Valentine for Everyone

By Emmie Arnold

I’m sure that, regardless of where you are on your life path, you’ve been unable to avoid Valentine’s Day. I can’t help but think of many folks in different situations whenever holidays come around, especially ones like this that have societal, monetary, and personal pressures attached to them. So, rather than a list of fun things to do on Valentine’s Day with your date, friends, or by yourself, I’m going to give you words of encouragement for wherever you happen to be.

To those who have a partner, may you cherish this day, whether you buy into the traditions or not. May you not be swept up into unrealistic expectations that will cloud your vision and prevent you from seeing Valentine’s as simply another special night that you get to spend together. And for those of you who don’t have the energy or time off of work today to go out, know that February 15 is just as great a date for Valentine’s Day. My family just celebrated Christmas this last weekend, and it was great. To those who don’t have the money to take your partner out for an epic date or get them the gift you really wanted to, may you know that you are enough. Your love is enough. It is in fact much greater than a material gift. The saying “the most precious gift you can give to someone is your time” is truer than you can imagine right now in the midst of your anxieties.

To those who are single, may you find a way and the time to spend Valentine’s Day with dear friends or in blissful solitude. If you are happily single, may this be yet another day of your chosen, single, fabulousness. If you are unhappily single, may this day pass quickly, and may you find a great partner sooner than you could even dream – one that you won’t be settling for; one who will be worth the wait and effort. If your friends or family members are pressuring you to date and you’re not ready, interested, or finding someone worth your love and attention, may this day pass quickly, and may you know that you are enough all on your own; you are not undesirable, unwanted, or unlovable. You are not a half, broken and incomplete without your “missing puzzle piece.” You are whole. May you see yourself as someone who is worthy, no questions asked.

To those who are recovering from violence or an abusive partnership or who are still with an abusive partner and not sure how to leave the relationship safely, may you find someone to hold your grief tenderly and quietly with you today and any day you seek that support. This holiday can exacerbate feelings of not being loved or worthy, and I want you to know that you are deeply loved and worthy in ways that you cannot imagine. May you know that V-Day and 1 Billion Rising happen over Valentine’s Day weekend for a reason, and that you’re not alone. I will be performing a monologue from “A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer”  in our honor. May you step ever-closer to healing or removing yourself safely from a dangerous person and situation.

To those who are aromantic or asexual, may you know that you are valid and important, this day and every day.

To those who are too young to date, may you, for now, find hope in looking up to healthy adult relationships, and get vicarious joy from them. Ask them what their secrets are to deep and lasting love. May you learn from their mistakes and successes and have fun imagining what your first date, kiss, and love will be like, but may you also feel wholly self-sufficient right now and not buy into the idea that you are lesser without someone. As I wrote above to those who are single, you are not a half, broken and not enough without your “missing puzzle piece.” You are whole.

To those who are proposing on Valentine’s Day, may you be greeted with the loudest, most joyful “yes” of your life.

I’m sending you all the love I can muster, friends! I hope the day is wonderful for you.

 

 

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Emmie Arnold

Emmie Arnold is a follower of Jesus, survivor and thriver, graduate student of divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary, blogger at Illness to Wellness, musician, photographer, traveler, goofball, and optimist.

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  1. A Sweatpants & Coffee Stay-at-Home Valentine's (or Just an Awesome Night In)

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