Valentine’s Day: Not My Favorite
As we head into February, we will be bombarded with posts, commercials, store displays, and more about Valentine’s Day. It can be a lot! All the messages about romantic relationships can be hard to take in if you’re not coupled up, or unhappily coupled up. Or if you don’t love yourself.
I just never understood this day. Why does a person need a day to remind themselves to show affection for the people they love? Honestly, this has always been my least favorite holiday. I’m certain a lot of that cynicism has to do with my past experiences in an unhealthy marriage for over 25 years. Makes sense, right?
I don’t want to spend energy disliking a holiday. Who has time for that?
So, this year, I’m giving Valentine’s Day another chance. Wait…really, Michelle? Heck yeah, I am. New mindset! I’m going to focus on the relationship that is most important. Loving myself!
“You will not love anyone or anything until those eyes in the mirror soften up and embrace the beauty that is already within.”
Love Yourself First
Even though I had a difficult relationship for most of my adult life, there was another thing that made me dislike Valentine’s Day: I didn’t love myself. Until I started to love myself enough to believe that I deserved better, I couldn’t properly love anything.
“Forgiving yourself, believing in yourself and choosing to love yourself are the best gifts one could receive.”
When I was in a relationship, I was focused on all the negativity that was happening around me. Yes, there were good moments and happy times. However, because my mindset was always waiting for the “yuck” to happen, it robbed me of enjoying and being present for those times. Something I no longer have to worry about!
Walking away gave me the space to change my mindset and love myself.
So now, when I look in the mirror, I see a strong woman who loved herself enough to remove herself from a toxic relationship. She is a kind, caring and beautiful woman who no longer settles for less than she deserves. I see a great role model for her children. She is a confident woman who knows her worth and is willing to fight for what she wants and needs.
There was a time I strayed from my path, however, I believed in myself and righted my way! I have learned valuable lessons from that experience.
Love Yourself: Forgive Others and YOU
Complete forgiveness, of yourself and others, can take time. I will admit that I am still struggling with complete forgiveness. There are two types of forgiveness:
1. Forgiving myself.
2. Forgiving those who treated me poorly.
Both are important in this life!
I must work on my self-forgiveness every day! It is easy to be hard on yourself and sometimes, I’m my own worst enemy. There are a few things I’m still working on forgiving myself for and I must work on my forgiveness every day!
I need to forgive myself for allowing my children to grow up in such an unhealthy environment. Anger and toxic behaviors controlled my environment, my emotions, and my actions. I must forgive myself for allowing all of this for such a long time. I’m getting there, really. Who knew forgiving myself was going to be easier than letting go of the anger and bitterness so I could forgive others?
I know forgiving others is also part of loving myself. It’s for me to release the poison inside, so I can let go and move on with my life. Just like every other journey in my life, I will take it one step at a time! I will not quit!
As I learn to forgive myself, I believe it will make forgiving others easier.
I need to change my mindset that by forgiving others it makes what they did okay. I know that isn’t true. You can still forgive someone and hold them accountable for their actions by setting clear, healthy boundaries. I also need to change my mindset that forgiveness means it didn’t matter. You can forgive people knowing it did matter but that your health and inner peace matter more.
As I work on this part in my healing journey, I am going to be easier on myself. I am going to give myself credit for working so hard and getting so far from where I was. I am going to open my heart to forgiveness daily until I don’t think about it anymore.
You Can Love Yourself, Too
For those of you who are on this journey with me, you are not alone. I share my stories with you so that you can see that we are all a work in progress and you don’t have to go it alone. I want you to know that even though I still struggle with things, I know that better days will always come. So will yours! We got this, guys.
I will continue to be my best and live my best life! You can’t have the highs without the lows. And just like a flower, we may not want the rain. But in order to grow, we need it for the sunshine to do its work!
Live your best life!