When love gives you lemons

Planning for a happy Valentine’s Day no matter your relationship status

Happy Valentine’s Day — this day of the year when we’re encouraged to focus on celebrating romance and love. We get to lavish our loved one with all of those feel-good things that makes them, and us, feel special: a nice dinner, flowers, chocolate, those inside jokes, reminiscing about why you fell in love in the first place, laughing at silly memories. Any way you slice it, it just feels great to love and be loved.

When we don’t have someone to love and cherish, Valentine’s Day takes on a different v ibe, and it can hurt. We might feel the loss of someone who did love and cherish us, the loss of having a person available and willing to receive our love and creativity. The hurt is real, and some people never get over those losses.

For those experiencing the pain of loss from divorce, this brings out a completely different level of hurt, with feelings of rejection, betrayal, emptiness and loss. Memories of happier times can make being alone even harder.

Some fit into another dynamic: Those who are struggling in their current relationship. That’s a difficult place to be, especially on Valentine’s Day.

So how do we turn these lemons into lemonade?

Reignite relationship fires. Remember that if something isn’t improving, it is deteriorating, especially our relationships. Create time every day to really connect with those who are important, those who are safe, those you love.

Listen to them. Let them know they are important to you.

We all want to be seen and heard by those we love. This goes for our kids, too.

Love yourself. Self-care is so important, and it helps to foster healthy self-love. On this day set aside for loving, love yourself. Plan ahead, especially if you do not have someone to love, or they are far away with work or serving our country.

Decide what you want to do for the day. Be proactive. Read a book. Watch a favorite movie. Go for a walk. Take a drive. Take a hot bath with your favorite essential oils and Epsom salts. Enjoy this time you are spending with yourself.

I will be spending extra time on my knitting project and connecting with my son.

Emotions and feelings

If you know this will be a particularly difficult day, plan on spending at least part of the day feeling your emotions. This may sound a bit weird until you do it.

Pause and reflect on the past. Grab a journal and write down what you feel. Set a timer, give yourself 20 minutes and begin working through the hard stuff.

  • If it was good, focus on those good times, the happy memories, how good it felt to be loved, all of it. Notice those feelings and emotions. Let your body feel them. Make a plan for going forward: Where can you create happiness in your future? Be intentional. Happiness doesn’t just happen.

  • If those memories from the past bring heartache and pain, follow the same pattern. Look at the past and feel those painful emotions. Identify what went wrong. What did you do? What was out of your control? Now it’s time for a game plan so you don’t make those same mistakes again. What are some red flags you can watch out for? How will you create your own happiness?

When you are done, go do something. Be intentional.

Move your body.

Make plans to go out with a friend.

Create some fun.

We do not get to choose our circumstances in life. We take what we are given, and then we have the power to choose what we do. We can chew on that bitter lemon, or we can make lemonade.

Relationships can be difficult, and Valentine’s Day can magnify that pain. We can make that day whatever we want it to be. Plan now and make Valentine’s Day your day.

Hays, a Camas Prairie resident, operates Heartwork Healing Coach. She can be reached at coachjanet@heartworkhealingcoach.com.