I realize that many people consider Valentine's Day a manufactured Hallmark holiday. Personally, I like it. For me, it’s a yearly anniversary to acknowledge the deep feelings I have for friends and family
February 14 also acts as my reset button. I examine love on a personal and professional level and how to expand it in the coming year. This time around, I’ve been thinking about the connection between love and approval. Seeking and receiving these two important emotions seems to work hand in hand. Since clay is such a big part of my daily life, what I create often tangles with how I feel about myself.
In an era where social media rules how people choose to promote themselves, counting the number of clicks, likes, and messages can define this search for artistic and personal approval. Judging one's success based on these stats alone can be an addictive and misleading measurement. Like me, do you sometimes measure your happiness based on input from on-line resources?
Note to self: it’s good to step away from the electronic approval machine on a regular basis. Social promotion can provide a positive sense of self-worth, but it can also do the opposite. Before seeking outside validation, it’s important to seek our own internal acceptance.
It’s natural to want approval from others. But treating the swings of likes, shares, followers or clicks as the only measurement of success is not healthy and not really a true reading for approval. Start by staying positive and loving yourself. Treat others with the same kindness you seek. This year, I'll be working on taking my own advice!
Happy Valentine's Day!