Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be My Valentine

I seem to be having a difficult time thinking of something to write about for Valentine's Day. Remember the days when we received a mushy Valentine's card from everyone in our class and there wasn't any pressure to be attached? I miss those days. What happened to that way of thinking?

All of the overpriced greeting cards, heart shaped chocolates and fancy dinners aside, Valentine's Day is supposed to be about one thing: Love. Somewhere along the way, however, this special day in the middle of February has become much more commercial than us single ladies can bear. Unfortunately, there is no longer a guarantee that we will get a little something from our classmates.

There are plenty of things left to love in this world that don't have anything to do with being in a relationship. As I am still fighting through the early stages of my recovery, I am still working out the quirks of the most important relationship of all; the one with myself. Somewhere over the course of the last decade or so, I have completely neglected any sense of self love I might have had. 

As I was searching for inspiration for this post, I pulled out my "Joy Box." It's a box I made in the first few weeks of my recovery journey and I often times forget the amount of power and love this simple box possesses.

This box holds everything from inspirational letters from dear friends, positive affirmations, gratitude cards, pictures, and other random feel good items. Today was the first time I had opened it in months, so it made for an emotional experience. Being reminded of all of the love and support I have had along this journey is what Valentine's Day should be all about.

At the bottom of the box, I found a stack of note cards that I had completely forgotten about. Each note card has a promise to myself from a list provided in treatment. It is difficult for me to believe I let this awesome list get buried and left behind.

Here a few promises I can make myself today:
I promise to stop the negative self talk and fight back! Not everything I think is true.
I vow to recognize my strengths and achievements. I am a wonderful, unique person.
I promise to recognize that ALL body types are beautiful.
I promise not to get down on myself when I make mistakes. I am human and I know mistakes are how I learn.
I promise to stand up for myself when I hear something mean or hurtful. I deserve love and respect.
I vow to start loving my body however I am feeling, however I look and wherever I am.
I promise to not be affected by the negative appeals of the media- they do not set standards of beauty or perfection.
I promise to try not to compare myself to others.
I promise to never participate in group body bashing of myself and others.
I promise to refrain from not taking care of my body and not feeding it right.

 Instead of drowning in self pity on this lovers' holiday, not only have I decided to flourish in the love that is already surrounding me, but I have also decided to start a life long love affair with myself. This list of promises will never see the bottom of that box again; I will read them everyday if that's what it takes to start this relationship. 

Valentine's Day is all about love, but just because some of us are single today, doesn't mean we can't feel the love, too. I might feel like the third wheel while having dinner with my parents tonight, but that doesn't mean I have to spend this day feeling sorry for myself.

Today I have decided to be my own Valentine.