Valentine’s Day – how many bad ones have you had?

by Annie Kaszina on February 11, 2011

How many bad Valentine’s Days have you had?

I can rank mine into 3 separate categories:

  • Teenage angst, waiting to receive the first Valentine – and wondering whether I would ever get one.
  • My married years, when the wasband would pointedly buy a card, engineer a fight, and leave the card in its bag, because “under the circumstances, he couldn’t give it me”
  • The lonely years, after my marriage broke up, when the only envelopes that arrived on Valentine’s Day contained bills, and I’d tell myself that sad old story about being old, unattractive, unlovable…  I’m guessing you know the one.  (It’s really not age-related, despite what you may think.)

Valentine’s Day focuses the mind beautifully on so many negative beliefs about our relationship worthiness.

To paraphrase an old saying, on Valentine’s day you could be excused for thinking that you were right at the end of the line when God was handing out soulmates.

The shops, and media, are awash with fluffy bunnies, squishy hearts, and all things RED.  If you’re not doing your share of giving and receiving them, boy, can you feel like a failure.

If you’re not hooked into the icky Valentine’s Day sentimentality, there must be something wrong with you…

Or so the hype would lead you to believe.

Valentine’s Day rant

Actually, there’s something seriously wrong with Valentine’s Day.

First, there are the ecstatically co-dependent cards:

“Valentine, you make my life complete.”

“Valentine, I’d be nothing without you.”

“You are my whole life.”

(Co-dependence sucks, however you dress it up.)

Then, there is the lapse into infantilism: the fluffy bunnies, the cutesy animals…

Is this really a statement that we are confusing being openly loving with letting our inner child have a field day?

And then, my personal favorite:

“But although I may not always show it
in ways that you can see
on Valentine’s Day
and every day
you mean the world to me.”

( Pass the sick bucket, please.)

How about that for Valentine’s Day as a celebration of lack of emotional accountability and investment?

Provided you make the right noises –and possibly even mean it – on one day of the year, that lets you off the hook the other 364…

(Now, where have we heard that kind of thing before?)

But enough of the Valentine’s Day rant.

Why you feel bad on Valentine’s Day

Let’s look at what’s really important:

The reason why you can feel SO bad on Valentine’s Day is that it turns up the volume, big time, on what is normally going on inside you.

More important still, it turns up the volume on our habit of waiting to feel happy from the outside in.

Of course you would rather have a good, loving partner and a healthy relationship.

It beats the alternatives hands down.

But if you don’t, and you’re unhappy, you really need to listen to that unhappiness.

By that, I don’t mean you need to tell yourself the story of why your abusive partner, or your lack of a partner, makes you so unhappy.  You already know that story inside out.

There’s absolutely no point in going through that one again.

Not least, because you’re not really listening to yourself.

Let me say that again:

You’re not listening to yourself

Why do I say that?

Because your bad feelings, your unhappy feelings are there for a purpose.

They’re there to make you listen.

Just like physical pain is nature’s way of saying: “There’s a problem here that needs addressing.”

Your bad feelings are telling you that your situation is damaging, unhealthy, and unworthy of you.

I can’t promise that, if you really listen to those bad feelings and replace them with good ones, next year the mail man will slip a disk under the weight of Valentine’s cards and presents you’ll receive.

Much as I’d love that for you.

But I can promise that you can move from that place of bad feelings to a place of good feelings, joy and peace.

And you might be amazed to discover, as so many have discovered before you, that we abused women are absolutely brilliant at getting, and enjoying all the “juice” of a good feeling once we know how.

Valentine’s Day may well be a drag, again, this year.  But, this year, I urge you to listen to your bad feelings, really pay attention to what they are telling you, and start moving towards the good ones.”

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