Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I expected to see the usual barrage of Facebook posts declaring that people shouldn’t have to wait for that one day of the year to express their love.While I agree with every single of letter of every single word of that sentiment, I also love the fact that there is a day set aside for lovers to go a little beyond the extra mile they normally would in order to express what’s in their heart.
Flowers, Candy, and More
I loved seeing all the pictures of roses, orchids, tulips, etc., that were posted yesterday as expressions of love. I loved seeing all the posts about the dinner dates, breakfasts in bed, and other ways that togetherness was expressed. Whether it was the man or woman doling out this goodness, it was beautiful. I especially loved reading the sentiments couples expressed through various posts. I love seeing people in love. I love seeing proof of the very premise of love. I adore hearing a sincere exchange of “I love you” within a couple. What you need to remember, though, is that the most sincere “I love you” should be said to the person staring back at you in the mirror.
No Greater Love
During the 19 years that I was married, I lost any sense of love for myself. It wasn’t just the matter that he didn’t love me, I didn’t love myself. I felt like a failure in every sense of the word. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. I hated looking in the mirror so I stopped. I let myself go. I didn’t care. I wouldn’t do anything special to my hair. I didn’t wear makeup unless I absolutely, positively had to. I didn’t make any effort to feel good about myself, let alone any special effort.
It wasn’t about the hair and makeup. There was just nothing about myself that I liked, let alone loved.
Fast forward to the day I not only looked around but when I faced what was in the mirror. Yep, I had been scarred mentally and emotionally to the point that I couldn’t look at myself, but one day, ONE DAY, I realized who I used to be and who I wanted to be again. I realized that I had a phenomenal base to work from and that I had to rebuild. I began to think of all the things I had accomplished and moreover, how I had accomplished them. I began to think of my skills and abilities. I began to think of my talents. I began to think of all the people who loved me unconditionally. I began to love myself again.
My hope is that if you find yourself in the position that you don’t love yourself for any reason, you’ll take a good, long hard look in the mirror and see what those who love you unconditionally see. True enough, you may be beaten to a bloody stump mentally, emotionally, and perhaps have endured physical abuse; you don’t have to stay in that state, though. Please don’t. You deserve to live a life filled with love. No one on this planet should love you more than you love yourself.