“They say love is blind. I disagree. Infatuation is blind. Love is all-seeing and accepting. Love is seeing the flaws and blemishes and accepting them. Love is accepting the bad habits and mannerisms, and working around them. Love is recognizing all the fears and insecurities, and knowing your role is to comfort. Love is working through all the challenges and painful times. Infatuation is fragile and will shatter when life is not perfect. Love is strong and it strengthens because it is real.” – Unknown
I have very mixed feelings about today. It is the first Valentine’s Day I have spent alone in a very long time. There has always been someone special by my side. Or at least someone pretending to be special. The above quote made itself known to me earlier today and it both inspired me and broke my heart. It inspired me because that is what real love is. It’s out there. Maybe I’ll experience it someday. It broke my heart because clearly none of my romantic relationships have been based on mutual love and support. I don’t know that any of my partners have actually loved me, and that is a hard pill to swallow considering how much love I feel I gave.
While reading an Elephant Journal article called I didn’t Quit My Marriage. I survived It., I came across another quote: “When we realize that we can’t single-handedly make a relationship with another person work, we have to choose ourselves. We begin to hear our hearts screaming for us to get out. We begin to honor our intuition, which tells us that this situation isn’t healthy for us, that we must do whatever it takes to make our lives better. We figure out that we cannot save our partners when they choose not to fight for the relationship” (Jackson, 2016). As you can imagine, this spoke to me on a number of levels. It seems like I’ve needed constant reminders lately that I’m not a failure. My divorce does not mean I am broken, used up, or that I have nothing left to offer anyone or anything. As difficult as it is to make myself believe it, I am not a failure. Another reason that quote spoke to me is because I need to remember that I am not responsible for saving everyone else or picking up their slack. I can only do so much. I can only fight so hard. I can only give up so much of myself before the other person has to start giving just as much. Both parties have to want to make it work for the right reasons, otherwise it is a lost cause. Finally, those powerful five words: we have to choose ourselves. I can’t control anyone but myself. I can beg and grovel until I’m blue in the face, but I simply cannot force someone else to love me. Ouch. Believe me…I have done some begging and groveling. A lot of good that did me, huh? In the end is has left me alone. And perhaps that is the best place I could possibly be. I am forced to choose myself.
“A few bad chapters does not mean your story is over.” – Unknown
I’m sitting here in quiet contemplation. I have a candle burning, but no music. I have one small light on. How many others are out there spending Valentine’s Day alone, wondering why they don’t deserve someone by their side. I know that thought has crossed my mind several times today. For those of you out there like me, this is the conclusion I’ve come to: today is a Thursday. That’s all, folks. I am no more or less alone today than I was yesterday or will be tomorrow. I am no more or less deserving of love today than the next person. The difference is, their time and their person came. I am still waiting for mine to come. There’s no shame in that. A little patience never hurt anyone, right?
I don’t have a lot to say tonight. I mainly wanted to reach out because I know there are plenty of people out there like me. Pick yourself up, go look in the mirror, and ask yourself to be the best Valentine you’ve ever had. You know yourself better than anyone. You will never abandon yourself. You, like me, just need to learn to love that person in the mirror just as much as you love anyone else. You have a lot to give. Don’t let that love go to waste on someone who will never give it back. Instead, learn how to love yourself so that you know how to let someone else love you in the future. You’re always there for everyone else…it’s time to be there for you.
Dear self, will you be my Valentine?
Jackson, C. (2016). I Didn’t Quit my Marriage. I survived It. Elephant Journal. Retrieved from https://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/08/i-didnt-quit-my-marriage-i-survived-it/