Sunday, December 4, 2016

Be Your Own Valentine: Accept Yourself, No Exceptions

Be Your Own Valentine:

Accept Yourself, No Exceptions

from colourbox.com thumb_COLOURBOX3575055Once upon a time, in a land far far away, when I was a boy-crazy, school girl, Valentine’s Day seemed like a very harmless “holiday”. Valentine’s Day meant a day of classroom parties, funny little valentines, and lots of sweet treats.

I remember Valentine’s Day being full of excitement, anticipation and suspense. And, I still vividly remember filling out a valentine for that special someone (his name was Josh), tip-toeing across the classroom when he wasn’t looking, and sneaking it on to his desk.  And although it was all very exciting, it was also very, very nerve-wrecking. What would he say? Would he reciprocate my feelings? Would he profess his undying love? Even as a young girl, I sat there, waiting for Josh to validate me. I wanted/needed to hear that I was smart enough, funny enough, and cute enough to have earned his admiration. And if he didn’t? What then?

But why? Who had taught me that I needed someone else to admire me to feel good about myself? Is that something that needs to be taught, or do we innately base our self-worth on how others see us, perceive us, and validate us. If this is true, that we need others to validate us to feel loved, it’s no wonder that Valentine’s Day can turn into HELL for some.

There’s nothing like a holiday dedicated to celebrating romantic love to make you feel inadequate and incomplete. Thanks to the conspiracy between Hallmark, florists, chocolate companies, and all those darn jewelry store commercials, we are bombarded with images of what love is supposed to look like. We are told that to be loved, or to be worthy of love, someone (other than yourself) should send us flowers, cards, chocolates, give us expensive gifts or take us out to a decadent dinner.  But really, truly, what does any of that prove?  Maybe it’s time we all grow up and stop focusing on validation from others. Maybe, just maybe, we should put more effort into validating ourselves in these ways:

Focus on Giving Instead of Receiving. Just because you’re not in a relationship at the moment doesn’t mean you have to sit this one out. Make this a day to celebrate those you love. Whether it’s your BFFs, your kids, your sisters or your mom, take the time to do something sweet. I just mailed my three single girlfriends a Valentine’s Day card and picked up some craft supplies to for my sons to make a little something for each of their grandmothers.

Love Yourself. If you were in a relationship, you might spend a few bucks on your Valentine, so instead, take whatever amount you would have spent on him and treat yourself to something nice instead. Can you say Mani/Pedi?

Own the night. Coordinate with other single friends whose company you love, book a reservation at a fabulous restaurant, and make a night of it.

My recommendation this year, BE YOUR OWN VALENTINE! That’s right. Don’t depend on someone else to bring you flowers, send you card, or buy you chocolates to prove to you that you are loved, admired, or worthwhile. Take back the reins on this Hallmark holiday and let it be a holiday about love—self-love. For just one day, be in love with yourself. Focus on what makes you great. Love yourself for who you are. That’s right, accept yourself, no exceptions!

 

Rosanna Catapano, ANAD Staff

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