Somewhere along the line we seem to have gotten the idea that our inner and outer worlds are unrelated. Most of us no longer think it’s weird that many psychiatrists and psychotherapists are materialistic and classist, or that many activists who work tirelessly for inclusion and peace also harbour bitter hatred toward certain groups of people. Something’s wrong with this picture, and our world desperately needs it to be corrected.
Valentine’s Day is one of those special holidays with the power to make us feel totally shitty about ourselves. Some of that has to do with loneliness, and some of it has to do with romance, but most of it has to do with the fact that being socialized by capitalism and pop songs has left us pretty unsure of what loneliness and romance actually are and how they relate to each other.
As long as the underlying psychological process of self-judgment and self-rejection is in place, then becoming a supermodel or a CEO isn’t going to change much. The best we can hope for is to climb to the top of the ladder only to find that it’s against the wrong wall. Some people live their whole lives like that, caught in a game of psychological whack-a-mole, except instead of it being a fun 45 second game, this version saps you of all joy and keeps going until one day you just die.