I don't need a man to rectify my existence. The most profound relationship we'll ever have is the one with ourselves." ~ Shirley MacLaine
I hate Valentine's Day. There I said it. I hate when I walk into a store and see everything with hearts on it and pictures of Cupid all over the place. I'm sure it has something to do with me being single. Being single on Valentine's Day sucks. It doesn't help that Valentine's Day is such a commercialized holiday - it's a billion dollar business. So I cannot escape all the flowers and candy around me. This time last year, I will admit, I was miserable. All of my friends were either married or in a relationship this time last year so I was the odd man out. I suffered the 24 hours by buying myself a bag of chocolate and watching horror movies. Romance in any form was not allowed. And I survived.
But as this day crept up again this year, I started to think...something's gotta give. I don't want to be miserable. When you get down to it, it's a day. A freaking day! Love is something that should be celebrated everyday and not just on February 14. Why am I choosing to look at Valentine's Day as a negative thing? The day is about celebrating love and showing that love to someone, right? So why can't I celebrate the love I have for myself? As I have said many times before, life is what you make it. It is a choice. And this year, I decided to choose to celebrate me and show myself some love. I'm going to be my own best valentine.
Last week, over lunch with a friend who we will call B, I proudly announced my self-love intentions on Valentine's Day. She looked at me as if she had seen a ghost standing behind me, to which I was confused. She has been in a happy relationship for years so in my eyes, she's lucky. She's got a great man and she's guaranteed at least some flowers and premium chocolate on February 14 that she does not have to pay for. Which is awesome. Or so I thought. As the saying goes, "Things are rarely the way they seem."
She proceeded to tell me how she is in awe of me and how I always manage to maintain a positive outlook throughout it all: losing my dad last year, being single at the age of 41 (**gasps**), getting laid off three years ago, and just basically life's ups and downs. She then says "I don't know how you can be so confident. I would NEVER let a man see me naked or have sex with the lights on!"
Now my friend is probably a size 4, not an ounce of fat on her. She has a nice body shape and I have seen her in a bikini so I know this. I was shocked but then I had to remind myself that sometimes people don't see what others see. You see what you allow yourself to see about yourself. That is why loving yourself and accepting yourself as you are now is so important. If you don't, that affects everything especially your confidence.
This prompted a conversation on romance, the bedroom and sex. When I told her that when in a serious relationship, I have no problem letting the guy see me naked or having sex with the lights on, she looked like she was going to have a seizure. I can understand that since I am sitting there, a size 26/28. But the difference between she and I is that I love myself. And I told her that obviously the man is attracted to me and into me because it's not as if once I remove my clothes, I suddenly become a size 4. He knows what he's getting once the clothes come off. And I own my body...I exude confidence. Truth is, men love a woman who has confidence. When you have confidence and own your body, that makes you even more attractive.
So I told her "You really need to show yourself some love. You have to channel that inner sexiness that I know is in there. Girl, you really need to look in the mirror and see what's really there and not what you THINK is there." I then dragged her to Victoria's Secret and where I spent the afternoon, making her try on lingerie. She seemed a little uncomfortable at first but then she came out wearing this beautiful black and pink nightie that was classy, tasteful but sexy...and it was totally her. This guy passing by, with who I think was his girlfriend, nearly tripped because he was breaking his neck to look at B. I just gave B this look that read "See, Girl!"
Now I am sure that B will not fully conquer her self-loathing in a day but that day was pivotal on her path to self-love. She called me this morning to thank me. She bought that nightie and is going to "try" to surprise her man on Valentine's Day. I hope she is able to go through with it. Because self-loathing takes so much energy and she has wasted so many years not fully enjoying intimacy with her man because of her lack of self-confidence.
So I say to all of you out there: Whatever your status is on Valentine's Day, embrace that. If you're single, don't sit around, dwelling on what you don't have. Treat yourself either by buying yourself flowers and candy or doing something for yourself like going to the spa or getting your nails done. Like I told B, show yourself some love. If you're in a relationship, enjoy not just Valentine's Day but everyday. Tell that person you love them every chance you get. You're lucky to have someone in your life that loves you in that way so appreciate that. Enjoy the little moments and never lose sight of YOU. Love starts within each of us. If we don't love ourselves and show ourselves some love, how are we supposed to love others and show love to others? And in honor of B, Ladies, keep those lights on and own it! Your man will be very happy that you did.
Happy Valentine's Day!!!