It's the eve of Valentine's Day and I've found that there are two camps of thought about this holiday: love it and hate it. The first dives head first into all things Hallmark and pink and floral and sweet. The second live in complete denial this holiday even exists and intentionally wear all black, silently screaming "if you even glance at me in a lovey, syrupy way, so help me....!"
I get it. The love. The hate. V-day either allows us a day to exploit the love we have or is a brutal reminder of what we seem to be missing.
What if this specific day isn't about romantic relationships, or the lack there of, at all? What if we've all been hoodwinked in believing this day is about external love and have been blinded from seeing the day for what it is?
What if this day was about loving you - this messed up, crazy, never-has-it-all-together, beautiful, wonderful you?
Could you do it?
Could you believe you are worth a whole day to celebrate simply loving you?
It's so hard. So, so hard to believe all the unique things that make us who we are are worth celebrating. Most days we screw up. Most days we hurt those we love. We fail and cry and gossip and hate and fall into the trap of understanding life as meaningless. We believe the worst things we think about ourselves are actually true and everyone else is thinking them too.
And then February 14 comes around and our failures or successes in a certain relationship area are broadcasted. Or we're given 24 hours to reassess what we believe. We're given an entire day to repeat over and over again "I love me. I'm beautiful. I'm worth it. I'm perfect."
One day to shelve all the negative voices in our head that try so hard to trap us in living a life far less grand than what we were created to live. Voices that keep us small.
So maybe this Valentine's day you write a love letter to you. Don't hold back. Jot down everything you love about yourself or think you could love or dream you could be. Even if you don't believe it, write it down. Even if it scares you, write it down.
And then read it over and over again until may you begin to believe in the beauty that is found in every single ounce of you.
Because here's a secret: if you start to believe you're worth this kind of love and live from this place of acceptance and grace, others will too.
And you'll begin to find beauty and connection in everything.
So go on a date or spend time with friends. Rent a movie, go outside, watch the stars, or indulge in as many chocolate somethings you possibly can. Scream into a pillow or cry if you need to and then smile because you let yourself feel. Celebrate in a way that makes you feel most alive and loved by no one other than you.
But please. Please don't bash or banish this day. Please don't allow any bit of loathing to taint what could be. And please don't gloat. Please don't shamelessly flaunt whatever love you think you have and flash it around like a stack of 100s or diamonds or fancy clothes. Because all of this is simply that, glitter and glam that dies away. And because every time you do, every time you hide or deny or hate or gloat or flaunt, each time you miss the opportunity to give this special day a new name, a new purpose. And you miss the chance to completely revel in you. This unique, no-one-quite-like it, absolutely wonderful you.
No matter what, where you stand or think you stand, please celebrate. Because if nothing else, this world could use a little more celebration.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Now, a little about this recipe. In my head I think all I need to say is "you have to try it" and you will but somehow that's, rightfully so, not quite enough so I'll say a little more.
I was curious about combining molasses and cacao and found that the flavor combination is deep and rich and almost smoky. Sort of bitter but also sweet. A little like Valentine's Day if you think about it.
Here's the nutrition deal.
Blackstrap molasses is one of the few sweeteners with an abundance of minerals packed in. Calcium? Check. Iron? Check. Potassium? Check.
Translation, if you are pregnant or post-partum [even years after having your last baby] this is an awesome food to add to your diet as it gives you the minerals you and the baby need to maintain health and acts as a blood tonic after you've given birth, replenishing what has been lost.
Molasses works to reduce dampness and cold in the body which means if you're experiencing winter cold right now this might just help you warm from the inside out. A great treat after outdoor winter fun!
In addition to all this goodness, if you take a bit [1 - 2 tablespoons] of molasses in warm water an hour or so prior to bed it will aid the bowels and soften things up first thing in the morning. Super helpful for issues surrounding constipation. I'd nix the cacao though as it can be stimulating - not exactly what you want prior to catching some Zzz's.
Good for almost every digestive organ in your body, adding molasses really providess more than simply flavor to this hot drink.
2 c. boiling water
1 T. molasses
2 tsp. cacao or cocoa powder [or carob if you can't do chocolate]
2 pinches of each: sea salt, Ceylon cinnamon, ground ginger
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan or tea kettle. While the water is warming, place the remaining ingredients in a large mug. Pour the boiling water into the mug and whisk until everything has dissolved into water. Top with marshmallows and enjoy!
Important Note: This is a slightly bitter drink until you add the marshmallows. If you forgo the marshmallows you may want to add a touch of raw honey or maple syrup until you reach the sweetness you desire.
I was visiting a friend of mine and found these on her counter. I haven't had a marshmallow in years for a host of reasons, mainly because on a basic level they are puffed chemicals. Admittedly delicious but still, disgusting.
And then there's these little babies. Simple, whole food ingredients without an ounce of chemical or processing. So, so good.
Because I love adding medicinal herbs to just about everything, try adding 1 tablespoon of marshmallow root powder to the gelatin and water. Marshmallow root is great for gut inflammation and adds an authentic mallow-y taste.
Head over here for the recipe!