My Funny Valentine – Monday Motivation #7
It’ less than a week away…and I am experiencing my third in-a-row single.
It doesn’t make me sad (though an abusive ex-husband is probably the most direct reason for that), but it does make me think about those people who are sad or lonely at this time.
It reminds me of a really profound quote by Buddha that begins:
That quote slapped me smartly when I read it because I think it’s precisely what I did for so much of my adult life.
I searched for years, looking for love outside of myself. Acceptance from others was the hallmark of my lovability. I pandered to others, worked to be liked, and when that felt like an impossible task, I ensured that I was respected by being competent at things (though still, I cloyed at others for scraps of love they might be willing to cast my way).
I told myself during those years that I just hadn’t found the right person, that they were out there but that I just needed to find them.
And so I played “where’s Waldo” in terms of my love life. And as years passed without finding him, I felt like a failure: both unlovable and unsuccessful at completing my own personal “Where’s Waldo” task.
A Valentine’s Massacre of my own
Eventually, I thought that perhaps I was the problem – my ability to show love and express love was defunct in some way. I decided that I just needed to learn how to love someone better, stronger, more fully so that they might return that love.
And around that time, I met a man who said he loved me. But his love hurt and I was always just shy of his expectations for what it meant to be a girlfriend and wife. I stayed there – trying to get better at loving – trying to love him enough to prove to him that he was lovable and that, in return, so was I.
What a mistake.
And my family paid the price. My children and I still work toward stemming the flow of negative self-talk that continues to drone on in our heads because of him.
Why Waldo in the first place?
After leaving that relationship, I did a different kind of search one for
meaning and understanding,
for resolution and healing,
for joy and solace.
I learned that I am beautiful,
that I am lovable,
that these things need not be earned.
I began a new search.
This one is personal and will be a lifelong one.
I search for my beauty. I look inside myself for those things that make me worthy.
I look at those things with the eyes I usually use to see others:
- Eyes of acceptance
- Of love
- Of tenderness
- Of appreciation
And then I deliberately exalt those qualities in me.
It is OK to be proud. It is OK to know your worth. It is OK to know that you are worthy regardless of the opinions of others.
I am learning self-love and I’m happy to share the journey with others. If in doing so, I can bring even one other person away from self-loathing and self-sabotage – if I can help them find their beauty and worth – then my heart swells all over again with our shared joy.
And that brings me to the back half of Buddha’s quote:
Valentine’s Day is a day for loving YOU as much as anyone else.
Take a moment to be your own best Valentine today.
I find that I‘m one hell of a sexy and engaging date.
Maybe I’ll buy me some chocolates and take me to dinner 🙂
What are some of your best qualities? If you were taking yourself on a Valentine’s Day date, what would make you swoon? What would make you want that second date? I’d love to hear about those things. Your comments are uplifting to me too.