I walked through a Publix parking lot this afternoon and noticed a lot of guys carrying flowers and balloons. Initially, this was a reminder that, on yet another Valentine’s Day, I am alone. But as I walked in and saw display tables lined with even more flowers and balloons, my thoughts turned elsewhere. I wondered how many of those purchases were truly for the reason Valentine’s Day has been hyped up to be…a day to celebrate love. Were any of those purchases out of guilt, obligation, or expectation? The truth is that it is none of my business, and I’m past these kinds of feelings.
For those celebrating love, I am truly happy for you. That is a big step for me. There was a time when someone having something I didn’t have would have made me jealous. In fact, I have had my share of Valentine’s days where I was celebrating with someone special. Thinking back, some of those years, they loved me more than I loved myself.
Yes, all the cards are written for someone else…that “special someone” that makes you feel like you have never felt before. What about those of us that have worked on ourselves from the inside out? Those that have looked inside at the good, the bad, and the ugly and found self-love despite it all? A love that can only be discovered within. A love that another person cannot provide.
Here’s an idea, Hallmark. How about a series of cards, not just on February 14th but all year round, that celebrate learning to love ourselves? It is a special gift – self-love. I know this because I hated myself most of my life. It took years of hard work to finally carve out a place of love for myself in my own heart. No, it doesn’t last every minute of every day…I don’t know any emotion that does. However, as those that understand will attest to, being able to celebrate it is a beautiful thing. And celebrate it I do. I choose to have a date night with myself most weeks. I do something that I enjoy with me, myself, and I. It could be something as simple as taking a bubble bath; treating myself to a nice dinner (I can go to restaurants alone and enjoy myself); writing my thoughts for my blog when something is weighing on me is a loving way to release whatever emotions I am feeling…You get the picture.
The 14th will come and go. The guys have come and gone over the years. The one love that has stayed the most consistent, once I discovered it, is the love I have for myself. This isn’t egotism or conceit. It is acceptance – acceptance and celebration that I am enough. I can have love in my life even without a “special someone” (aka “a guy”). Today that special someone is me, and when I consider where I started from, that is one heck of a gift.
My co-workers were all planning their business travel around being home on the 14th. For a moment I was sad because it didn’t matter where I would be since I’m not in a relationship. I quickly realized this was a gift. I could be anywhere and know that I was with someone I love. How cool is that?