Are you expecting some romance today? A proposal perhaps?
Here’s one I have for you first! I’ve been proposed to many more times than I’ve been married, so what I’m about to put to you comes from experience and a fair few times when my heart got broken.
None of those proposals occurred actually on Valentine’s Day, and nor were any of them the romantic ideal that the hearts and flowers brigade would have me wish for. Well…actually they weren’t the romantic ideal that I’d wished for, or envisioned either…and there was more than one that proved to be excruciatingly embarrassing…maybe I’ll tell you about it in another blog 😉
But they led to something utterly rather wonderful because my responses, then, and following them, have led to a wonderful love affair and the most satisfying version of happy ever after I could wish for!
And now – despite my escapades with love and marriage and mistakes on the merry-go-round – being in the enviable position where I can marry couples in the most beautiful and romantic of settings, it’s pretty important that I appreciate love in all of its manifestations and that I can use my experiences of it and marriage to guide them at the start of an adventure – one that celebrates how both can bring their independence to such a union and ultimately a successful partnership.
Independence which comes from secure attachment in a marriage, is rooted in the safety of being able to fully express needs, to accept love and support when necessary and to be able to rely on the love of another – one who always has our best interests at the heart of the relationship.
At times, in romantic relationships as well as in friendships or working partnerships, I have used independence as a survival strategy and that’s not great! That feeling is rooted in nothing but shame because I’ve believed that it was so weak to even find myself in the position to need help; and it was rooted in distrust, because I believed I’d never be able to rely on someone because my experiences as a child and as a young woman taught me it wasn’t safe to really do so!
As Valentine’s Day comes around again, I promise that as an independent woman, with a heart that’s been put back together with brighter gold than is ever used in kintsugi and with some of these lessons tucked firmly under my belt, I won’t be spending the day moping in pyjamas and alternating between shoveling spoonsful of ice cream into my blubbering mouth, and wiping away tears…because my heart is full and plump and healed. And I promise you, the proposal that I have for you is more valuable, and more beautiful for my heart having been loved and broken. Because I decide that, whether or not love ever decides to come around again, I’m an independent surthriver! One who loves myself wholly.
So, here’s my proposal to you: whether you’re single, or waiting in the wings, or already part of a betrothed couple on Valentine’s Day, today during the “Holiday of Love,” please accept my proposal to love yourself first.
To remind yourself of how strong, and spirited, and independent you can be and also to remember that when you’re not, vulnerability and reaching out for help is conversely strength. To know that it’s no-one’s job to fix you, or complete you or validate you and to realise it takes a healthy independent ‘me’ to create a happily united ‘we!’
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all…