ahh... February... the month of love...
No thanks to Hallmark, our romance filter often leads us to expect want boxes of chocolate, hearts worn on sleeves, and fresh flowers at a minimum for that ONE! BIG! DAY! And if your man is really lucky, you'll be sporting some fancy new underwear to spice up the night! (At least if he doesn't screw up and leave you disappointed. You do have a man, right?)
As much as I enjoy any reason to make a day extra fun for my kids and do something special with my husband, love and showing love isn't about one specific day. And it certainly isn't about your relationship status.
Don't get me wrong. Romantic love is a powerful thing. Dreaming about it, chasing it, experiencing it... I'm not sure anything compares to that excitement and passion. Although a mother's love for her children is also powerful, as is the committed love that binds us with our partners through good times and bad. There's something else just as important; in fact I think it's more important.
I'm talking about loving yourself. Really, truly believing that you are an amazing woman. Recognizing your strengths and celebrating all the things that make you who you are.
(the same way you believe in and celebrate the other people you love!)
Doing things to take care of yourself. Making time to be by yourself. Having fun just because you deserve to. I know you're busy, but you are worth it! Do something you enjoy WITHOUT your kids or significant other.
I know you've heard this before, but please bear with me while I say it again. You can't fully care for others unless you're taking good care of yourself. (you can for a while, but eventually you'll get burned out.) You can't love someone else (in a healthy way) unless you love yourself, too. Younger or older, single, divorced, married, desperately in love, clawing your way out of the trenches, in a happy groove, looking for the light anywhere, knee deep in plastic toys and diapers, sleep deprived or tired of sleeping alone or happy with the one you've got...
WHATEVER your situation, YOU MATTER! Your time, feelings, dreams, and your needs matter. And when it comes right down to it, IT'S UP TO YOU to make sure you know it and act like you believe it. Just like you do for everyone else.
I hope you feel loved. I hope you are appreciated daily. (and sometimes even celebrated!) Most of all, I hope you love yourself, believe in yourself, take good care of yourself. There are times it's hard to remember that we matter. We are important not because people (little or big) depend on us, but simply because we exist. If you haven't realized that recently, please take a minute and plan something, anything, nice for yourself. Write it down and commit to caring for yourself very soon.
You give so much and you are worth so much. Show you know it and love yourself first.