Be Your Own Valentine

Valentine’s Day is a day when love reigns, at least in principle. More widely associated with chocolates and roses than the saints for whose feast day we are meant to commemorate, Valentine’s Day has become a cash cow for many businesses around the world.


Material Love


We all know that most modern day holidays have been hijacked by commercialism but has love also fallen victim to the dollar? According to one survey, 53 percent of women in America would leave their boyfriends if they did not receive a gift for Valentine’s Day.


Another set of statistics from the US Census Bureau showed that more than US$2.5 billion (VND52.5 trillion) is spent on merchandise in jewellery stores across the US during the month of February. Were The Beatles wrong when they sang, “Can’t buy me love”?


How Did We Get Here?


For the most part, we have become a society that seeks external gratification. We too often look to others to validate our worth and because of this we’re caught in the web of constantly being judged and judging others. This leads us to seek approval and love from those around us to satisfy the ego, which can sometimes leave us unfulfilled and lead to feelings of anxiety and insecurity.


Although the material gifts may bring a momentary sense of worthiness, in the long run that sense of worthiness needs to come from within one’s self so that we may blossom into our fullest potential to be love, give love and to receive love.


Self Love


Be selfish, love yourself. This, we’re told in spiritual teachings, is the key to being able to love others, not just your partner, family or friends but everyone, regardless of race or creed.


Loving yourself and all your imperfections, unconditionally, opens the door to allow you to also love others unconditionally, not expecting anything in return, not even expecting them to love you in return. You love them just because.


Now obviously the world has a long way to go with this concept otherwise we wouldn’t be in the state of affairs in which we find ourselves. However, each one of us can make a difference and it starts with self love. This great slogan sums it up beautifully — ‘Be Love, Give Love, Live Love’.


Here are some suggestions to help you embody this slogan, consider the advice at; join the global love letter writing campaign at; get a regular dose of love at In the words of Ram Dass — Be Love Now!


Karen Gay, A-Roaming Bodyworker, is a holistic health practitioner practicing in Hanoi. For information on the types of services provided, visit 

Karen Gay

A true global citizen, Karen has lived and travelled overseas for more than 20 years. Her current journey has led her down the rabbit hole. She's not sure she'll resurface. You can follow her on and


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