In love. In life. In parenthood. In anything. It’s a good rule – why be ordinary?
The above quote says it all for me as we head towards the big V-day. And I may not be going where you think I’m am with this. It’s not a “To heck with jerks! You go tell him where to stick it girl!” kind of thing.
We are all so incredibly unique. Nope – we’re not all special little snowflakes to be coddled and protected from every bump in the road. But we are unique.
No two people have exactly the same life experience, outlook, talents or challenges.
Valentine’s Day is bittersweet for many, sweet for some and just plain bitter for others.
We’ve heard it all, right? ‘Love yourself first’ and ‘you can’t love another person until you love yourself’. And these are true.
We get totally sick of hearing them when we’d rather have an awkward date with Mr. Not-Quite-Right than sit at home alone with take-out and binge-watching GOT one more night. There’s nothing wrong with going on that date if you are just looking for a fun night out, and everyone involved has a realistic expectation of outcomes.
But please routinely put in the effort to make those statements above true.
Don’t waste too much time on Mr. (or Ms!) Not Quite Right – buy yourself a treat instead – a handbag you’ve wanted, a ticket to a sporting event, a dinner out at a lovely restaurant – and it doesn’t have to be expensive – do it on a shoestring – a walk in the park or hiking expedition of your own can be so incredibly gratifying. Take a lesson in something you’ve been dying to learn – rock climbing or painting or whatever tickles your fancy.
Self-care takes a lot of practice – you might not have that rosy “I love me!” feeling. It doesn’t matter – do the thing anyway. Take the moment – if it’s nothing but stopping working on all the other things to read for 30 minutes and have a bath. Your heart, mind and body all three will thank you. (The rosy feelings do sometimes come! I promise!)
Next, let’s consider ‘Don’t expend energy loving someone who doesn’t love you more than you love you.’
A mouthful – I know. I’m no Oscar Wilde. But I think the point is important.
Once we remember how to love ourselves, we shouldn’t work so hard to love someone who doesn’t cherish all the parts of us at least as much as we do.
When you truly love someone, you even find ways to cherish the parts of them that drive you crazy.
My SO and I have this piece down. For example – he’s reticent. Completely. HUGELY. And it drives me totally bonkers most of the time. He doesn’t communicate AT ALL when he’s upset. Then I get upset because he’s not communicating – and then he’s upset that I’m upset, and it can get really stupid.
BUT – I’ve learned from his reticence. Running off at the mouth has always been a problem of mine – but being around him has caused me to slow down and consider more carefully the things that come out of my mouth. It has taught me that not everything needs an immediate response and sometimes it doesn’t need a response at all.
Still drives me nuts when he does it sometimes (and funnily enough was the most infuriating part to me about my dad! Wished I’d learned from him instead of waiting this long.) But it’s part of who he is as a person – and it does have value.
I *think* I’m teaching him something about empathy – which drives him bonkers. We have to stop before leaving DQ to say hi to the older fellow sitting alone with his cone. He has to wait for me constantly because I have a need to know EVERYONE’S story. I want them all. He was not previously overly concerned about other’s stories – or with sharing his own.
I think he sees through my crazy eyes that wanting to know about others, because you’re truly interested in their story, can be beautiful thing, and can create some wonderful bonds (and get you some fantastic stories!) He tells me routinely that it’s part of who I am – so he loves it too.
So if you’re going to be with someone, choose a person who is willing to think that you’re a special snowflake and treat you with all the care that should afford – but who’s also willing to push you and inspire you to being bigger, better and more than you were.
No one less is worth it – have many lovely friends and people around you – but don’t sacrifice your time and effort for someone who doesn’t cherish your soul.
Don’t expend energy loving someone who doesn’t love you more than you love you. 🙂