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Assortment of different Valentine Day gifts

Happy Valentine’s Day…or is it?

A dear friend of mine hates Valentine’s Day. She refers to it as Single Awareness Day a.k.a SAD. It’s a day about love, connection and romance, yet for some single people it shines a spotlight on something they deeply desire, but don’t currently have. It’s a day to be ignored or endured.

I used to feel this way. I cringed when the card and candy aisle transitioned from Christmas decorations to candy hearts and cupids. All the jewelry commercials brought up insecurities about the possibility of being alone forever. Every February 15th I would breathe a big sigh of relief knowing that SAD was over.

Then one year, during a particularly soul-searching time in my life, I decided that I was no longer willing to give in to fear and waste one more moment of my precious life feeling alone and lonely. I decided to shift my experience and use Valentine’s Day as evidence that love and connection do exist and to deepen my resolve to create a mutually treasured and abiding love in the future. I committed to preparing myself to be the woman I would need to be in order to have the kind of love I wanted to have. Instead of sadness, I felt exhilarated and motivated!

Here are five commitments I made to shift my experience:

1. Love myself the way I want to be loved. I know you’re probably thinking if one more person talks about self-love and says you have to love yourself first, you’re going to be physically ill. This is different. This was an exploration into the possibility that perhaps I was expecting someone else to give me what I was not willing to give myself. I started asking myself hard questions such as, “Where in my life have I been respectful and disrespectful to myself? Do I keep commitments to myself? Am I faithful to myself? How honest have I been to myself?” It was a huge aha for me. I decided to start giving myself what I wanted others to give to me.

2. Be comfortable with uncertainty. This was a hard one…I’m a control freak! I want a plan and a road map. I’m sure if I work hard enough I can change the outcome of anything. I frequently take on too much and do everything myself because I know other people will screw it up. Sound familiar? If so, this one is for you! My mantra became, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I trust that life is unfolding in the most blessed way for me.” It took me awhile, but I went from thinking, “Yeah, right” every time I said it to one day believing it.

3. Look for evidence of great love. I realized I have been walking through my life collecting evidence of my beliefs about life, love and men. It was easy to see evidence of men being dishonest or leaving, because I was looking for it to support my beliefs. I decided to collect evidence that men are loving, generous and faithful. Miracle of miracles, as soon as I started looking for new evidence, I saw it and started thinking that life and love were on my side.

4. Push back on the bully. For years I had my own internal bully and it whispered scary lies to me. It sounded like, “You’ll never find someone; all the good men are taken; you’re too old to find love.” I’m sure you can fill in the blank with your own lie. I decided to stand up to my bully and tell the truth…The world is a big place, and there are good men. You don’t know what will happen. People find love at all ages.

5. Above all, hold the high watch. Stand strong in the belief that you can create the extraordinary life and love that you so desire. And, on the days where your belief wavers, ask yourself, “If I were a person that believed life and love are on my side, how would I be walking through the world and relating to others?” Then do it!

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