“Have you forgotten the most important Valentine of all?”
We are heading into Valentine’s Day and I remember with fondness, decorating many a shoebox with glitter and paper lace doilies for my classmates to put their Valentines into. Making the choice of whether to give Scooby Doo Valentines or Mickey and Minnie Mouse Valentines was a ritual I eagerly looked forward to every February. And I smile when I pull out the old Valentines I made for my parents during art. Oh, the days of love being simple and fun!
Celebrating love became a bit more complicated as I grew older. Parents lost their luster and pledges of true love turned into betrayal. I watch sadly as people once happy in love, angrily rewrite their history as never having been so. Was love just a fool’s game or is there more to why love seems to have gone from fun as a child to risky as an adult?
Love suffers from a myth which can lead people in relationships to being hurt and becoming bitter about their beloved. The myth? That if a person loves you, they are to make you happy. So… if you are unhappy, the person you love is at fault. Recognize this myth? This myth has done so much damage in relationships that when I spot this myth operating in a client’s life, I call it out for what it is–a lie which hurts all involved.
The truth is that the job of being happy begins with you. Who knows better than you what makes you feel good, what tickles your funny bone, what makes you feel all is right with your world? Only when you learn to love yourself, to support and honor yourself, are you truly able to have a happy and loving relationship with another. Without loving yourself first, you are limited in the love you can receive as well as give another person.
So this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget your most important Valentine of all-YOU! Take some time for loving yourself just as you are. Like old movies? Then watch one this weekend instead of making excuses about why you can’t. Think a clean house is over-rated? Give yourself a day-hell a weekend!-of not telling yourself to tidy up and really enjoy a bit of mess. This Valentine’s Day weekend, shower some true loving on yourself, for loving others always begins with you.