The funny thing is, I expected this past week to be hard. I thought the overwhelming outpouring of love in every direction would make me feel as if I were somehow defunct of or deficient in love. I let mind my mind wander to last year when I was running all over Houston, looking for items to orchestrate the perfect gift for my perfect someone. The pressure to please, the anticipation of seeing his face when he opened his gift, and of course the sense of validation I would feel when I opened mine. I mean, last year was my first time in years that I was seriously (or so I assumed) dating someone. Lest we forget my last ex who was terrible with money, and didn’t get paid until the 15th and as such any celebration would have to occur that day. But, I digress- This was the moment that really mattered. Our first Valentine’s Day together… That day came, and went. Needless to say, the day ended with a missed reservation, as he was running late, and me looking at the image of my gift that had yet to be delivered by Amazon per the purchase receipt in his phone. I tried to make the best of the night as we had dinner and enjoyed conversation. But internally, I was conflicted. I was devastated that no thought had been put into the day and that the lack of concern was non-existent. He made the moment seemingly less awkward by joking that he had not celebrated Valentine’s Day for years, and at least could have gotten a card, but overall I was content that I finally just had someone there. I didn’t go to sleep alone that night, I wasn’t alone and at that time that was better than nothing. It really was nothing.
Fast forward to 2019, and of course all that was once is no more. I made it through the week in great spirits and with positive moments and memories. The desire for acceptance no longer there. The need to have my worth validated completely non-existent. I felt whole and fully loved within myself, within my being, and in the entirety of my own space. I didn’t need the validation. I’d never needed it, and I had convinced myself that I did. For years, I played into the illusion. I saw all the images of smiling faces, gifts displayed for the world to see, moments captured in time to prove worth and love. I saw all of that and even in my lowest moments, I chose to play into it as well. As if I had something to prove to the masses, because best believe I made sure to give the illusion that everything was A-OKAY in our world for Valentine’s Day last year. The behind the scenes reel was never shown and it damn near wasn’t mentioned. I say all of this to say, don’t believe the hype. True love is internal and resonates loudly within self. What I thought I was missing out on, more than likely not realistic and if it was real the behind the scenes struggles definitely were not displayed for the world to see. Pain brought forth a lot of growth for me. In this time I have become more confident in myself, I have learned to be more transparent than ever and to truly gravitate towards people who truly care about me without the glitz or the glam. Self-love and authenticity. That’s the real gift. The ability to be content without having to put on a show. Owning your feelings, and celebrating what you are blessed with instead of longing for what you do not really know the truth behind. That right there, that’s what matters.
Needless to say, I have put my discernment on the back burner plenty of times. I am aware of all the things I have disregarded for the sake of feeling worthy, and I’m no longer willing to do such just to feel validated. In the realm of life lessons, these last few months have forced me to be more intentional with caring for myself. It is okay to celebrate yourself, and choose to surround yourself with people who actually show you they appreciate you, whether it’s posted online or not. The real gift is not in what is given to you, it is how you give to and receive yourself. Now, I’d be remiss if I were to say I never wanted to celebrate the holiday and go all out, but my point is that love goes beyond a day or a moment in time. You have to love yourself first before any of that happenstance will matter. That self love will also play a major role in what you are willing to accept as your reality. When you love yourself you will not just put up with anything, just to have something or someone. Just anything will not be enough, and it doesn’t have to be.
Happy (almost the end of) February!