Friday, February 14, 2014

Love Yourself

Today is Valentines Day. From what I have seen on Facebook today, a lot of people are feeling less than enthusiastic over this holiday. A friend posted a painting of a woman vomiting copious buckets of hearts. I'm not exactly sure what this means, but I know it is not a happy sentiment.

Of course, there are the endlessly optimistic folks who were thrilled to have yet another opportunity to proclaim how full of love their lives and hearts are. They were probably up at the crack of dawn wearing a Valentines Day apron, baking numerous batches of heart-shaped sweet treats slathered in rose-colored frosting to hand out to their legion of friends, neighbors, and happy, smiling family members who never curse at them. They were whistling show tunes while they washed all fourteen bowls, pots, pans, and baking sheets, then they joyfully polished the oven with some type of special cleanser which I have never even purchased. I don't even know the name of the oven cleanser.

Then there are the rest of us.

If we had expectations for this holiday of love, those expectations almost surely have been crushed and strewn across the pavement like day-old roses run over by a diesel-leaking Mac truck.

I know. I'm not exactly the queen of blue skies and cherubs hovering today.

But what I decided halfway through this depressing day of Cupids and arrows and boxes of chocolates was this: you've got to love yourself. No one else can do it for you. Maybe you have the greatest boyfriend or girlfriend who has ever walked the planet. Maybe this person showers gifts upon you and fetches your slippers and newspapers. Oops, wrong species. Whatever. It doesn't even matter. Because if you don't love yourself, you won't be able to accept those gifts. You won't feel worthy of their love. And then you will screw things up by being way too needy, crying on the toilet at every dinner party the two of you attend, or turning cold and bitchy and just glaring silently when the hostess asks if you'd like red or white.

Because if you are depending on someone else's love to make you feel good and whole and safe, you are just never going to feel it. You are always going to feel like you are trying to drive up our driveway today: six inches deep in slush and ice and although you may have all-wheel drive, none of those wheels can find any purchase, and the world is a slippery place, rife with skidmarks. You will need a shovel and some kitty litter.

So dig down deep. Throw out those day-old roses and the cheap, crappy chocolates made with high fructose corn syrup and GMO sugar. And give yourself a real gift. Place your two palms over your own heart. Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths. And remind yourself who loves you. (Yes. It is you.)

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