Monday, 13 February 2012

The Valentine's Day Massacre : Why I Don't Celebrate Valentine's Day

The Valentine's Day Massacre

A commercialised capitalistic venture is the most obvious reason that comes to mind. I can think of a thousand better causes to invest in, like a donation to the world wide fund or building orphanages for street children, with the millions that get spent on chocolates and flowers – oh how authentic this display of love is - year in, year out. Nonetheless, this isn’t the basis of my non-Valentine’s day philosophy, nor is it because it’s just an opportunity for girls to boast (or complain) to their girlfriend’s about what their man did (or didn’t do) for them and proclaim, on his behalf, how much he loves her regardless (only for the imminent break up to occur, as most happen after Valentine’s Day. Oh, the pressure!). And respectively, an opportunity for guys to boast (or complain) to their boys about what their girl did (or didn’t do) for them, and proclaim, on her behalf, about how lucky he got (or didn’t get) that night. Neither is it because, I am a hopeless romantic (I don’t engage in Rome-antics, research the history of Valentine’s day, I won’t go into that, as it isn’t the reason why I’m writing this), who is constantly out of Cupid’s range - a chubby baby who has yet to develop the depth perception or fine motor skills required to shoot a bow and arrow - and just haven’t “met the right girl who will make you see things differently”, au contraire Mary Claire, the real reason why I do not, and will not, celebrate Valentine’s day, for the foreseeable future is because of love. Yes, the reason why I do not celebrate Valentine’s day is, apparently, the same reason why I should celebrate Valentine’s Day.

As we are all aware, regardless of the numerous attempts at defining this age old notion, by poets, artists, musicians and lovers alike, it still eludes us as people, as we have yet to begin to grasp the notion and understand what it means, let alone practise it. If you ask the average person on the street, they will give you different answers. Perhaps it is because it means different things to different people, or perhaps, it is so elusive, nobody really knows what it is. Some define it as the Language Of Vibrant Energy, unconditional positive regard, looking at another and seeing yourself, looking at yourself and seeing another, the state of being in which another person’s happiness is essential for your own, or giving and seeking nothing in return. The highly acclaimed poet John Keats described it as “a doll dressed up”, this was centuries ago, nonetheless, when you observe modern day society, where people expend more effort and energy on their wedding, than they do on their entire marriage, coupled with the alarming divorce rates, where 51% of marriages end within four years, the poetic analogy proves true and it was, one can argue, almost prophetic. It is but a fa├žade, a superficial masquerade, a superfluous display that arouses then pacifies the ego and the narcissistic personality trait that unwittingly lies dormant in many people. This is not love in its truest sense, at least, it is the image that is being presented to us as people, one that we have adopted and mistakenly held on to with a fervent desire. Nowadays, if love - in its truest form - was a prerequisite for marriage, and starting a family, there would be many people who would never brave the long and mighty walk down the aisle (in fairness, it is difficult to walk with ‘cold feet’, you’d be heading down a slippery slope). This ‘love’ is the very reason why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, which defines and encapsulates all that is wrong with our modern conception of love in a period of 24 hours; fleeting and obsolete.
So what is this ‘love’? I hear you ask. The love that has so eluded the world particularly in the modern day. After an arduous search, both within and without, I shall try to share with you what I have discovered. Firstly, you see those butterflies in your stomach that you get when you’re around that person, it isn’t that. That is a psychosomatic reaction, based on physical attributes that you have developed in your mind that forms the foundation of your attraction for the opposite sex. In other words, you’ve watched too many movies, someone has come along who fits the bill and your mind is playing tricks on you. Ask anybody who has been happily married for years and years whether they still experience butterflies in their stomach (***straight face***). What ‘love’ actually is, or rather, what it should be, is the centre of our being, la raison d’etre, the very purpose of our existence, the same feeling that causes us to go to sleep at night unsure that we will see tomorrow, but certain that will it come, despite the fact that for so many, it actually has not, yet we are certain the same fate will not befall us. Hope, joy, happiness, pain, sorrow, peace, and so forth, all come under the umbrella of love. It is existence as a higher vibrational being that allows us to be in tune with other living beings that carry vibrational energies on a particular level, which helps us to understand that our existence is nothing without theirs. Love is not something you “fall in”; it is something you rise to, elevating your consciousness to a higher state of being, until you become it. When you fall, it is usually into traps, into an abyss, down, to the ground (if there is anyone who has ever defied the laws of physics and fallen up, I’d like to know! Please email me at: stoplyingyouhavetoomuchtimeonyourhands@home.com) and this is the semantics that we as people use to describe the process of love, no wonder, Euston, we have problems!

Love is actually very simple, at least on a conceptual level, it is the practise of it that renders situations difficult. Now imagine celebrating, as we do, such a holistic, divine experience, in one day, in the most banal manner, think how this depreciates something that we should otherwise hold so grand. Our everyday existence should be a manifestation, a celebration of this divine notion.
Love, it isn’t easy, it’s not supposed to be, and if you thought so, you should get a refund from whoever you bought that story from. It is hard work, but nowadays; very few people understand that, and even less are willing to go through what it takes to make things work. I’m not saying you have to put yourself through difficult times in order to feel as if you have loved, that is completely self-destructive, what I am saying is, like all art forms, it requires discipline and training to acquire the mastery in order for it to be practised.

Given that love is so difficult to find nowadays (this should really say ‘difficult to become’, however, we have not yet even reached that conceptual level, and my desire is not to throw people off track), here are 5 tips on what you can do on your quest to (be) love:
1. Turn off the distractions. The television, the cheesy music, the internet (you know what I’m talking about), the media, and so forth. They condition you and sink you further into a delusional abyss that only renders you incapable of differentiating between reality and fantasy.
2. Stop looking. Seriously, just stop. Stop it. The harder you look the less chance you will find. You must not look, but you must instead see. See the signs. Love is blind – and you can quote me on this – because when you have found it you don’t need to keep looking.
3. Loneliness. Disappear from the world. Find yourself – not in a cheesy, Hollywood movie about life kind of way – just get to know who you are and what makes you, you. Then love that person. And bring that person back to the world. It is very much, a lonely, painful, self-analytical process, however, it will leave you better off. There is no growth, without pain.
4. Pain. Prepare yourself for it. Often, the fear of suffering is greater than the suffering itself, furthermore, it is not necessarily the circumstance that evokes the feeling of pain, rather the way we react to the circumstance.
5. Let Go. Of the past, of the hurt, of the pain, of the one who came before, and make sure they do not make it worse for the one that is there now. How are you supposed to fly, with that load, from what once was, still weighing down on your shoulders.

Ultimately, you will be rendered vulnerable, as you let all your defences down. Pouring your soul out to another being is a mountainous task; however, it is not insurmountable. No matter how much some may deny, and many are often swimming in denial, everyone wants to feel love – and should want to be love – even the hardest of men soften in the coffin, so why live as if you’re already dead? Live. To love is to live, to live is to love. `

I end with this letter that I wrote to love on last year’s Valentine’s Day.

Dear Love,

They try to celebrate your existence by cramming it into one day. Clearly, they do not know your worth. I would struggle to fit you into an eternity, without you tearing at the seams and spilling over into days that have yet to be.

This world needs you now more than ever.


JJ Bola.


  1. You did it again! Keep writing bro, amazing, much love,

  2. Celebrate love, that's all were required to do, always and often

  3. Dopeness.com
    Just what I needed!