Opening the gates to happiness

Today is Valentines Day. 
There seems to be a general consensus to ‘love or hate’ valentines day.
 Either it seems you have to say,
“I hate valentines day, it is such a marketing ploy!”
“I will not give into the ‘hallmark holidays’.”
“If you love someone show them everyday!”
Or 
You LOVE the pink red and white cards. 
You live for the chocolates and flowers and adore the romantic outpourings of the day. 
Is it OK to say I am neither?
I don’t hate valentines day. 
I do however hate spending money on useless stuff to celebrate.
And I don’t necessarily love valentines day. 
I love the romantic outpourings of the day and
the show of love and respect to others around us.
(and of course I love chocolate! More excuses for a pregnant lady to indulge in chocolate, I am in 🙂
but I do not like the expectations St Valentines puts on us to accomplish a perfect romantic gestures. 
We already live in a culture that puts so much expectation on the perfect romantic relationships. 
Especially as women, it is hard not to expect the perfect words, the perfect actions and loving gestures from our partners or from the world around us. 
We see it all the time in movies, media and TV.
We expect ‘movie-like’ encounters. 
Even if we won’t admit it to ourselves, most of us would love to be told by our partners how wonderful we are and how we make their life better with poetry and intense romantic gestures.
And most of us would love to be swept of our feet by the perfect stranger. Making us feel like we are the only one that exist in the world for them.
We seem to even subconsciously re-tell our romantic stories  with a flair of Hollywood romance to make it sound better. 
It  is like we assume real life romance is not good enough to be heard.
Now don’t get me wrong we all deserve to be told how great of a person we are. 
We are all deserving of feeling special. 
But why do we need to strive for the perfect way to achieve this?
Why is it that the mundane things are just not good enough?
 Like the smile from a kind stranger, a hug from a child, a quick text from your friend in the middle of the afternoon to say they miss seeing you, or the extra squeeze of your hand by your husband before you go to bed. 
Maybe sometimes we are so busy searching for perfection that we are oblivious to the amazing feelings and loving energy around us all the time.
I like the idea if Valentines day.
If looked at the right way, Valentines day is a great reminder that love is all around us.
If we love ourselves, if we put out into the world our happiness and joy to be alive, love will come pouring back to us. 
Just maybe in a way you didn’t expect it to.
Maybe love is simpler then we think. 
“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness”
-Oliver Wendall Holmes
Much love, 
Jessica
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