I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Next year I’m going to have a Valentine on Valentine’s Day.” I would get so overwhelmed watching what felt like the rest of the world, celebrate the apple of their eye, while I sat back, alone, brooding. I would sit at my desk and observe florists and bakeries deliver sentiments of love to my colleagues, all the while knowing there was nothing coming for me. It’s a pretty rotten feeling to say the least and I was the queen of pity parties.
Even worse, though, were the years I was involved with someone and they didn’t do anything at all to acknowledge me on Valentine’s day, or what they did do was such an afterthought—an unspoken message of, “this means nothing to me, (as do you), but I’m doing it because I don’t want to hear your mouth.” Neither of the two aforementioned valentine scenarios are the stuff that Hallmark Cards make their tear-jerker commercials about. In fact, I pretty much dreaded Valentine’s Day each year.
So how come I feel so dang delighted about Valentine’s Day this year? The answer to that, while simple, is also quite complex. After the sixteen months I have been through, I am pleased to announce that I am mine own damn Valentine and I’m actually pretty flipping excited about it!!!!! I finally got it through my thick skull that the underlying reason I was so heart broken during all the Valentine’s Days of yesteryear, is because I was looking for all of my love and self-worth from everybody else.
We already know that I reign over Crazy Town, and there are days I wear my sash with pride, but to derive my own value from whether or not I was in a relationship or whether or not I received some over-blown gesture of romance from a suitor, put me on a whole new level of not-so-sane-pageantry. That’s like trying to do water aerobics in quick sand—nothing positive is ever going to be accomplished.
I had a lot of healing and a lot of hard work to do before I was able to look myself in the mirror and say, “I love you.” As women, since childhood, we were compared to other little girls. We weren’t as pretty or as cute, or our hair wasn’t as long, we didn’t run as fast, weren’t as smart, or didn’t act like a princess. Unknowingly, parents, teachers, friends and strangers constantly reinforced that we weren’t as good as the next little girl. So, we grow up thinking that we need to be more like someone else.
Couple that with all of the other difficult things that can happen in a lifetime that also damage our self-esteem and self-worth, and we start searching for it in every other thing and person walking. Even if we are confident and successful on many levels, some of us have that painful inner feeling of not quite measuring up. That’s where mean girls and mean women come in. They make themselves feel better by making someone else feel worse. Nonnie always told me, “saying someone else is ugly doesn’t make you any prettier.” #TRUTH. It’s not a competition—we can all be pretty.
Some of us have some work to do to improve our self-worth. If we worked nearly as hard at loving ourselves as we do at loving people who clearly don’t deserve our love, we would be so happy and full of peace. When we are dating someone, we overlook so many red flags and unacceptable things and behaviors in that person because we are afraid to be alone. We ignore everyone’s imperfections and flaws, except our own. We know every single one of the things that is wrong with us. We can list them without hesitation.
Quite frankly, that mess has to stop. The only way to start loving yourself is to decide that you are going to TRY, and you are going to start today. It isn’t a quick or easy journey, but I promise you the destination is so worth the time you spend traveling to get there. Trust me, I’m the Homecoming Queen of Crazy Town, would I steer you wrong? No. Never. I can tell you this because I’ve walked the path already and it’s a journey I continue each day of my life. You have to begin to silence the negative messages that exist inside of you that were never spoken with your voice.
I celebrate who I am and the goodness that I know I bring to the table. I love hard and I love with my entire soul and being, and that’s okay. I’m sensitive and my feelings can be hurt easily, I’m working on that, but guess what? That’s okay as well. I have scars all over my body and instead of camouflaging them like I once did, I embrace them today. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be alive. I’m a work in progress and I’ve made some colossal mistakes, and I’ve learned from them. I’ve lost a lot. I’ve hurt people I never wanted to hurt, and I’ve felt the disastrous consequences of all those things. And you know what? I still deserve love and so do every single one of you.
Whether you are in a relationship or not, you deserve love. Whether you’re in an unfulfilling relationship or you’re with the partner of your dreams, you are worthy and you deserve love. Whether you’re the perfect body weight or whether you need to gain or lose weight, you deserve love. Precisely and exactly as you are this very minute, you deserve love. Not a single thing needs to change to make you worthy of love. You are smart, beautiful, amazing and wonderful and you deserve to have every single inch of you be loved. If you’re hungry, you feed yourself. So if you’re lonely, you can also fill that void yourself. You just have to decide that you’re going to change things and you’re going to embrace yourself.
Release yourself from the self-loathing and the pain of thinking you’re not enough. Consider the fact that you just may be living in a jail and you are the only one who holds the key. Don’t fall for the trap that you have to be in a relationship or in a perfect relationship to be worthy and happy. And if you’re already in love with yourself, hot damn and hallelujah!!!! You go girl!!! But for the rest of us, who are still working on it, every day become a little bit more of the woman you were born to be all along–A woman who loves herself. Maybe, just maybe, what you will discover in this journey is that you, my dear, have been the one you were searching for all this time.
If you don’t have a Valentine this year, (just like me), be your own Valentine. There’s nothing crazy about being your own Valentine. Do something nice for yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat someone else if they were your Valentine. Don’t get too worked up over Valentine’s Day, after all, there’s a reason cupid rhymes with stupid. Rock your tiara, sport that sash, and reclaim your throne….you just need your own city—Crazy Town is already taken. xoxoxo