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  • Writer's pictureMeghan St. Clair

Heart in a Box

Valentine’s Day has always been a problematic manufactured holiday for me. As a kid, I was asked to make Valentine box after box for the purpose of containing the love of my classmates.


I would carry my box home each year and sift through the remnants - hyped up on cupcakes and red punch. I would analyze each and every word. I noticed the Valentine that was missing. I looked for the Valentine signed off in LOVE rather than LIKE. Sometimes there were sweet sentiments from friends and other times they served as a vehicle for anonymous scorn.


The expectation of how we show each other kindness and love...sometimes even romantic love...on Valentine’s Day is something that was born in those boxes at the very beginning of my understanding about expectation and love.


One year ago, was the day my love came full circle. No matter how much you wish for a perfect Valentine’s Box, in the end, it will be you and you alone sorting out the things that matter.


Full circle love - beginning and ending with SELF.


This year, I’ve gone to great lengths to take back the narrative from mini-meg who spent a lot of years looking for missing Valentines. Aren’t we lucky as the storytellers of our own lives, that we can change the narrative of what once was? There is nothing stopping us from loving ourselves more fiercely than we could expect from another.


This year, I will love as purely and as wholly as I choose.


This year I will not question whether or not I’m deserving of my own love.


This year, love will not be dependent on achievement and I will say to myself...it’s ok if you didn’t finish your work, your food, your writing, your exercise - YOU ARE STILL WORTHY OF TENDERNESS AND LOVE. From yourself and others.


This year I will look in the mirror, and kindly acknowledge the ways that I am seen and not just by critics. For however brief a moment I will wear rose-colored glasses and allow myself to be sprinkled with dust from the angels and know that it is me that is loved.


This year I will accept my limitations as a starting point, not a helpless finale.


This year I will say to my abilities that they are real and true and protective and they have gotten me all this way.


And my heart. The most precious and vital piece of my body. I will exercise it and nourish it and care for it with tenderness - but I will not hide it nor limit it nor close it off from the world.


It’s too big for a box.

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