By Amanda Jade Kuhn
The belief that our soulmate is supposed to make us “complete” is what makes Valentine’s Day such a hot mess.
Being alone on Valentine’s Day is stressful. Then again, pop-cultural nimrods have warped our perceptions surrounding the quest for love. We harbor illusions about which ‘romantic’ gestures that will validate us. Like the last-minute giving of gifts you don’t want, dinner reservations in cramped-yet-’Gramable restaurant settings or creepy love notes from even creepier strangers, for instance.
Social norms are a conundrum: on one hand, they offer you the guideline to navigate practical reality. On the other hand, they strip you of the deeper human connections that we’re all capable of forming. Valentine’s Day is defined by social norms. We’re searching for validation through the approval of others, seeking a form of affirmation that we can only find within ourselves.
It is impossible to love others before you love yourself. But it takes alone time to realize this.
This is not to say that taking the time to celebrate your loved ones is unimportant or wrong, but to say that the outcome you want from doing so comes from celebrating yourself ‘within.
See, there’s National Junk Food Day, National I Love Horses Day and National Don’t Wear Shoes to Work Day. We figure that “Nirvana Day” is a welcome addition to your already hefty deck of existing celebratory dates. While Valentine’s Day is defined by external validation, Nirvana Day is devoted to internal validation. Organically, it’s a real thing, celebrated every year on February 15th.
Buddhists devote the day to celebrate the Buddha’s transcendence of physical suffering as it is tied to the ‘self’. This seems counterintuitive as we’re talking about self-love. Here is a break down: Buddhist practices have an understanding that the idea of our ‘self’ is born out of desire and illusion (meaning: the desires we want for our lives are shaped from contexts created from our infant stages to be molded and shaped by culture, societal practices and basically everything our upbringing taught us. It is an illusion and is not necessary to exist as essential human needs) which creates an idealism in terms of what the expectations of ourselves are. When we come to an understanding that we are creating the experience of our own existence, thus eliminating everything holding us back…we can finally say “Fuck You” to the desires and the illusions (see: expectations) that we create around Valentines Day. And mean it.
Whether or not you’re a practicing Buddhist, the sentiment of Nirvana Day is a prime counterpoint to the outward of directed madness experienced the day prior.
We’re going to use the term Nirvana to denote “spiritual orgasm,” much like the far-more talented writer Dan Brown described Nirvana in The Da Vinci Code. Buddhists spend lifetimes trying to reach this level of enlightenment. Yet, as a generation of instant gratification, we want relief now.
The traditional way to reach Nirvana is through endless lifetimes of meditative practice. That’s a lot to ask during your post-Valentine’s Day hangover. Instead let’s zone in on a more accessible state of bliss: physical orgasm.
The problem is we are living in a society that has informed half the population that masturbation is ‘dirty.’ Men have been–not just doing it–but talking about it for years, aggressively. When we think about men doing it, our vulvas resort to Sahara-status, if the Saharan Desert also questioned its entire sexuality.
Men should have never been given the authority to explain what masturbation gets to look like.
Why? You ask. The female orgasm is operatic. Our faces look more beautiful in the middle of a climax. Our hair is then perfectly disheveled and our skin naturally “glows” as we proceed to manifest all the things of our future desires.
So go out and dance your best self into existence this Valentine’s Day. Instead of lusting over some hazy idea of a pleasure partner, treat yourself and go home solo. Wake up the next day and sage all the bad juju out of your space as you tune into some of your favorite music that makes your nipples hard.
Will we ensure that you reach full Nirvana on Nirvana Day? Maybe not, unless you’re Bodhisattva. But we can say that this level of self-administered bliss will be a good detoxification method against the madness that is Valentine’s Day. To the Men, it’s 2020 and that’s what we’re up to.
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