Valentine’s Day is an annual celebration of love and affection with roots dating back to ancient Roman times. Today’s festivities look a little different than the original ones. What was once a feast honoring the Christian martyr St. Valentine has morphed into a popular and profitable holiday, generating nearly 26 billion dollars in revenue in the United States alone.


While many see it as a commercialized event (and it can be), it’s important to recognize the value of Valentine’s Day in promoting love and affection, two things this world feels sorely lacking some days. It also provides a unique opportunity to express our emotions and connect with those we care about on a deeper level. And it shouldn’t be limited to people you only feel romantic love for. The human heart is capable of all types of love and affection.


With this in mind, Valentine’s Day can also be a time for introspection. What DO our relationships look like? Are we in a healthy, happy place? Are we prioritizing time spent with loved ones? When was the last time we picked up the phone to call a long-distance friend? When did we last check in on a family member? Is there any unresolved resentment or anger we’re holding onto with anyone? Do we feel lonely? Do we feel isolated? What are we doing to repair friendships and strengthen relationships? 


Do the people we claim to love…KNOW we love them?


Too often, we get swept up in that commercial representation of what love should look like. We try to find the perfect gifts, plan the perfect date, or prepare an extravagant display of affection. We rely on material goods to speak for us because it’s easier than expressing what we feel inside.


But those feelings. THAT’s what’s really all about. Forget the heart-shaped boxes of candy. Forget the roses and the cartoon Cupids. 


The true meaning of Valentine’s Day lies in the act of showing love and appreciation. Beautiful gifts and thoughtful gestures have a place, absolutely. But instead of focusing solely on material goods, we can choose to focus on spending quality time with loved ones and creating meaningful experiences.


This Valentine’s Day, we encourage you to think about the holiday a bit differently. Focus on what’s at the heart of it all: Showing and expressing love to those in your life who matter most.