It turns out that I used to get totally sucked into Valentine’s Day. Yes, all of it. Chocolates. Small gifts. Romantic gestures. Surprise overnight trips. Deliveries to my work. A nice dinner. Lingerie.
The day seemed to symbolize what I always wanted deep down – to be noticed, to be cared for, to be loved!!!! Oh, to be loved!!! And then there was a day to kind of measure the status…
Does anyone have their eye on me? Is anyone thinking about me today or want to choose ME to be with? Does this husband or boyfriend I’m with now really love me or even give a crap?
I guess in my twenties (especially in my first marriage), I constantly had to wonder if I was loved or cared for. It was like I would just hang on waiting for any gesture or expression – any amount of proof that the person did care. I thought if I just got thrown a bone from time to time, it would be enough. It did happen here and there and I lived for those moments. (Can anyone else relate?)
The reality is, no smidget of a candlelight dinner could make up for the lack of love and affection on most days nor could it make up for the awful instincts I had most of the time that the person would rather be with someone else.
And no amount of surprises could make up for the state I was in…my self worth was sadly attached to the behavior of another person. That’s how messed up my self-worth was.
I did get to the point where I finally decided I wanted to do something (anything!) to try and heal, to try and build some confidence on my own after feeling worthless in my marriage for so long.
And, a miracle happened. The heavens opened up for me and I actually really, really learned how to have a bit of self worth! And then I learned to have some more. It turns out that my miracle was that I met someone who really, really believed in me. She mentored me. She said I could do it. She said we ALL have to do it. Every single one of us. We ALL have to do the work, but it can be done. And so, I believed her. I gave it a try. I did the work. And she was right. I could do it. I could change. I already had everything I needed (inside of me) to do it. I could become a completely different person. And I did. (See “The Work I Did To Be Happy.”)
But, it turns out that no amount of self-worth on my end was going to entice my first husband. But the good news! Even though he left, I still had my self worth! He couldn’t change that. I had it all on my own. I had it in my empty apartment. I had it while sitting along in a church pew. I had it while showing up to events and parties alone. AND, I had it while being single and dating in NYC, knowing that my wholeness was not dependent on a guy. That was HUGE for me. And it’s huge for me now. This is at the foundation of my wonderful marriage with Danny.
I still love surprises. I still love romantic gestures. I still love having a good meal with my husband on Valentine’s Day. 🙂 🙂 🙂 But now, those things are just fun. I’m not waiting to be thrown a bone. I don’t need it. I’m not looking for proof of my worth from someone else or seeking wholeness from someone else. It’s the most liberating feeling in the world.
So how about you? How was your Valentine’s Day? Would you say your experience of the day represents any reflection of where you might be in your life? (Maybe I’m the only one!)
P.S. And for the record, if anyone out there is wanting to develop more self worth, I just want to say that *I* believe in you with all my heart!! I know you can do it. I love you and know you have everything you need to do it. I believe that with my life!