Pen and Moon

from the writing nook of Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Happy Valentines Day… to Me!

unconditionalloveOf course, I mean Happy Valentines Day to you, too, but this year, I’m trying to focus on someone I’ve sorely neglected for a long time.  And that would be me.

I’m really lucky– I have a wonderful sweetie-husband who knows how to be romantic.  We’re going to go out and have a night away in the near future as a way to celebrate, since I’m not fond of the Valentines crowds on the day.  I have great kids, and I’m continuing my tradition of giving them chocolates and love notes for V-day.

But what I’m thinking more about lately is learning how to love myself.  I know that sounds all touchy-feely, but honestly, due to many factors in my past, I did not grow up with much in the way of self-esteem.  I was sure there was something- or many things- wrong with me, and if I just tried hard enough I coule fix them and be maybe kinda all right.  The problem was, I could never get there, and I just kept up this cycle of being very judgmental towards myself, feeling bad, feeling shame about the way I was, and pushing myself harder.

If you haven’t guessed it, this cycle totally sucks and leads to nothing good.  Even if I did accomplish a goal, I would just shrug it off and go onto the next one, because yeah, I did it but it’s not enough.  And after a few hundred thousand go-rounds, I’m tired.  My eyes are opened to see how bogus all this is.  I can see how important it is to step away from this cycle, to really start being on my own side, to love the person I see in the mirror, and to be able to  celebrate all of me–  the strengths, weaknesses, quirks and gifts.

So if you don’t have a sweetie, or even if you do, I hope you’ll join me in taking back Valentines Day to a more fundamental level.  It doesn’t have to just be a day for couples, a day that singles find depressing.  How about taking some time to nurture yourself, to do a little pampering, savor some chocolate, and say a big I Love You to the most important person… You.

3 Comments

  1. Nice take on Valentine’s Day. I agree, getting back to loving oneself is important, especially for those of us who have lavished our love on wonderful and deserving family members, unfortunately sometimes at the expense of ourselves.
    Today, I will be alone much of the day, and so I plan on a treat or two just for myself, because I deserve it!

    • Hi Nell– I think it’s especially true for us moms… I’ve sort of made a career out of taking care of everyone else. So this is a good shift. Happy Valentines Day to you!

  2. Reading this feels like a reflection of me, Theresa. I preach self-care and at the same time, I know how hard it is to even recognize we’re not doing it until we’re exhausted or get pneumonia or something else.
    Let’s keep this out in the open lest we forget to pay attention when we’re suppressing our gifts for the sake of other people’s gifts. Some people say letting our selfish, creative, expressive selves be seen is much more generous.

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