Shrink Rap: It’s Valentine’s Day. Make Love – To Yourself

Shrink Rap: It’s Valentine’s Day. Make Love – To Yourself

Jacket Close #1-1 Valentine’s Day is drawing near. If we’re in a romantic relationship, the thought of the day is cause for happiness.  If we are solo, however, the approaching holiday can make us feel lonely and sad. The truth of the matter is this: when we believe happiness is attached to something or someone outside ourselves, we are setting ourselves up for a big downer. This year, avoid the set-up. Make love to yourself.

As a psychotherapist who helps free people from unhealthy relationships, substances, and behaviors, I see how frequently  emotional and physical pain are caused by an attachment to any number of delusions. We think of a shot of vodka or piece of chocolate cake, for example, as sources of comfort. And while alcohol and sugar can make us feel great in the moment, the feeling is fleeting: in the long run, substances like these diminish our capacity to lovingly connect to our minds and bodies. They distract from a meaningful spiritual existence.

In a similar fashion, people often suffer from the delusion they’ll be happier when they attach romantically to another. They follow this delusion blindly and impulsively, in the end, often clinging to partners who wind up draining them and diminishing the vitality of their souls. This Valentine’s Day instead of focusing on people outside yourself, cultivate your lover within.

Here are a number of meaningful and Telluride-centric ways to make that happen:

    •     Free yourself from the traditional rules surrounding Valentine’s Day.  Just like the Valley Floor is free from commercial development (!), let your mind be free from commercial definitions of what February 14th is all about.
    •     Remember that Valentine’s Day is simply another day and will pass. Just as the torch light parades of Christmas and New Year's glide down the mountain, Valentine’s Day 2011 will flow through your life and end in a flash.
    •    Spend time with yourself. Take yourself  out on a date with Mother Nature. Bear Creek is a lovely place to commune with the nurturing forces of life. Listen as your feet  making a crunching sound on the snow. Know that in the beauty of nature, we are never alone.
    •    Take a leisurely afternoon stroll down Telluride’s Main Street. Say hello and chat with the friends and neighbors you meet. en route. Claim and celebrate your place in our extraordinary community.

Not just February 14, each and every day of our lives, we are given the opportunity to make love to ourselves and live a rich and meaningful existence. Cultivate compassion from within and that light will radiate out.  

I also invite you to share your experiences. Write a comment, share this blog, and drop me a line at Even though happiness is an inside job, never forget that we’re on this journey together.

 Dr. Hokemeyer is a nationally recognized expert on Eastern philosophies, relationships, and emotional healing. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, he holds a PhD in psychology, as well as a doctorate in the law. A part-time Telluride resident, Dr. Hokemeyer is based in the New York City office of the Caron Treatment Centers. He is also a weekly contributor to "The Dr. Oz Show," CNN’s "Headline News," and other media outlets, including "Good Morning America," "truTV," and "Oprah Radio." His new column, Shrink Rap, is scheduled to appear at least bi-monthy every Thursday on Telluride Inside… and Out.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.