Once upon a time, I was a victim of the sad and lonely. I didn’t have a line of prospective baes lined around the block for me and Valentine’s Day bummed me out big time. Even the romantic semi-relationships I had between grade school and college were no cause for envy. Somehow, V-Day does not hold the same power over me that it once did. How’d that happen?
One could argue that it’s because I’m currently happily engaged. However, the truth is that it has nothing to do with it. My guy does not go all out for Valentine’s Day and I’ve heard many a story of couples breaking up over a lack “WOW” put into its preparation. Of course, he and I are all for celebrating our love. We just don’t need a designated day to do it. We make our feelings known to each other daily – the good and the bad.
So where was the transition for me?
It came when I decided to love myself unconditionally. Sounds corny right? Well, in the words of Robert Downey, Jr. in Tropic Thunder, “Doesn’t make it not true.” I’ve learned not to allow my relationship status to dictate my happiness. I enjoy my alone time and appreciate my personal space. I also appreciate those who enhance my space by adding light and love to it. That is the type of love I care most about.
The love that matters to me is not commercialized or on sale. It does not come at its best one day a year. It’s around me constantly because I bring it to me from within.
I will not lie and say that if my guy left me tomorrow I would not be sad. Surely, I’d miss him quite a bit. However, my desire for companionship would no longer wane my feelings about myself. I would simply chuck it up to him having given me all he could. In fact, I give him credit for helping me discover this intense love for myself.
Believe it or not, everyone around you encourages you to love yourself be it in the best or worst of ways. Maybe a foul attitude reminds you of what it means to be patient with yourself and others. Maybe a random act of kindness inspires you to get out of your comfort zone. Whatever it is, pay attention to the signs!
When I developed a higher level of loving-kindness for my Self, I started caring less about superficial expressions. I realized my lonely days were teaching me to be content with being alone which, in turn, taught me how to be better in the company of others. Joys in life became less about the effort someone put into making a holiday special or, in this case, even romantic partnership. It’s more about the love I receive from friends and family. When they fall short, it’s about the love I can keep showing my Self.