And yes, like nearly every other holiday, it's completely over-commercialized (thank you, America). Still, I've always adored the idea behind it: a day to celebrate love. To tell the people you care about how special they are to you. To take a moment to recognize the beautiful people in your life. Which is why, even as a single person, I'm actually rather fond of Valentine's Day (and not just because of the chocolate--though that's definitely a plus).You see, when I'm focused on letting the people around me know that I love them, I find that I'm a lot less likely to throw a pity party for myself because there's no guy around to give me flowers.
This way of thinking applies to a lot more than a silly holiday. It relates to every day of our lives. Whenever I turn my thoughts towards myself (which is most of the time, unfortunately), I usually end up miserable. But when I shift my focus to loving others, putting their needs before my own, helping and encouraging the people I come into contact with, I suddenly become a much better person. I'm not feeling sorry for myself anymore, not feeling anxious and overwhelmed and inadequate.
Why is that? Because when we are loving, we are fulfilling the greatest commandment. When we are loving, our own self fades. When we are loving, God shows up.
We need to take the opportunity to love, every time it is given to us. Valentine's Day is just another excuse to do so. There are lonely people who need to know they're beautiful. There are broken people who need to know that they're loved. Even on the days when we feel alone in the world, we have to remember: God called us to live lives that are so much bigger than ourselves. And He promised to be with us every step of the way.