Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for HowDoILoveMeCover.jpgValentine’s Day is coming. It’s day of love according to tradition, yet for many people it creates anxiety. Women in relationships put a lot of romantic and material expectations on their guys, who feel a lot of tension about know what to buy or do for her. For women who aren’t in a relationship, it can illuminate they have no one, causing negative emotions like depressed or a general feeling of being unloved.

Years ago in my DoorMat days, I had a friend who I spent a lot of time with. When neither of us were seeing someone special on Valentine’s Day, we’d go out for dinner together. Those dinners were depressing! As we walked down the street, when we saw a guy go by with flowers, we’d say daggers! More daggers! That meant it was a dagger to the heart since we didn’t get any. It hurt a lot.

Many woman put SO MUCH meaning into Valentine’s Day, while many guys struggle to get their woman something she’ll be happy with.

It’s ONE day! We should get love every day in a relationship! The significance of Valentine’s Day has gotten out of control. It makes us anxious to feel loved and cherished. We want romance and all the trappings associated with this day of love! When I saw flowers as daggers, I didn’t feel loved so I craved a show of love. If I didn’t have a boyfriend on V-Day, I’d get very depressed.

For years the daggers hit me each time I saw a guy carrying flowers. “Why aren’t they for me?” “Who will love me?” As my self-love began to grow, I began to  learn what’s important on this day for love. One of my first lessons came on a trip to London. When I had my record label I went there a few times a year and stayed in the same Bed & Breakfast. I became friends with the brothers and sister who owned it. Bernard was my favorite. He was a wonderful person and we had long chats when we had time. He was married and we were just friends. 

I didn’t tell him how I felt about V-Day, though he might have overheard me feeling sad to a girlfriend I had breakfast with. I was out all day and my heart was hurting bad when I returned to my room after all the daggers I’d given me from seeing flowers go by. I was stunned to find a small teddy bear on my bed holding a heart and a perfect red rose in water. The card taught me the first of some valuable lessons about V-Day. It said:
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“We may be platonic friends but you are loved!”

I cried. For the first time in my life I had appreciation for love that came to me from people other than a boyfriend. It got me thinking. I was walking around feeling unloved because no man bought me flowers or gave me romance. Yet when I got those things from men in the past, I still didn’t feel loved, beyond the moment of receiving something. Here was a friend giving me pure love because he wanted to, not a boyfriend buying me the obligatory flowers.

Love should be a day-to-day feeling, not a one-day display.

Bernard reached out to make me feel good because he cared. I thought about my parents who loved me unconditionally. Why did I take that love for granted? I had other family and friends who loved me too. So, how dare I feel unloved?!? What a revelation. As my self-love blossomed, Valentine’s Day took on a new meaning. Whether I’m in a relationship with a guy or not, it’s MY day of love. Of course I try to say “I love me” every day. But I’m extra special self-loving on V-Day.

Prepare yourself for Valentine’s Day by giving i less importance.

Recognize that the most important aspect is LOVE, whether it’s romantic, platonic or from you to you.
Flowers and other gifts don’t make you feel more loved if you don’t
love yourself, especially if you know you’re getting it because your
partner feels obligated. Focus on being loving to YOU. Do something
extra special that you like. Say “I love me” before going after love
from someone else. Make V-Day about YOU, not what you get from him or
her. Then keep self-love going for the rest of the year and beyond.

Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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