Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Love

This year has brought a big change in my life.  I guess it's really a change that has been brewing over the past year, but it seems to have been brought into realization sometime in the past couple of weeks.  Usually around this time of the year, I've just recovered from the holidays and I'm feeling better about wherever I am in life, only to be bombarded with reminders of being alone.  There are reminders of Valentine's Day through commercials, movies, little signs on restaurant tables telling you to "Book early", etc. and then there were the flowers. Ladies, you know what I mean.

But this year is different. I haven't even thought about Valentine's Day until I see a sign or something.  I know that my life is in a good place and that I'm following my passion, so that could be a big part of why I'm feeling better in general, but there's more to it.  My only New Year's resolution this year was to love myself as fully as I love others in my life.  It's only been a month and a 1/2 but I can tell that it's working.  

It's funny.  What started out as a resolution to protect and take care of myself has given me the ability to actually give more to others. My heart is as open as it's ever been, and not just to romance but to people in general.  I find that the more I respect myself, the more open I can be with everyone else.  It's wild.  And the proof is in the interaction I've had with men AND women.  It's easier to be more loving to other women when you aren't so jealous or worried that someone is going to show you up. I've always been able to see the value in other people, but I'm starting to realize how special I am too.  I don't mean that in a haughty or stuck up way, but in a "I have something to contribute to this world that no one else can because no one else is me" kind of way. 

And as for men, well...I've never had more attention in my whole life.  It's like there is a mirror being held up to what I'm putting out there.  If only I had known this about life when I was younger. For so long, I thought that there was something wrong with my appearance, that I wasn't smart enough or that I wasn't worthy of someone else's love.  I thought I had some flaw that was holding me back from love. The only flaw was that I didn't respect myself. I didn't give myself the freedom to learn from my mistakes because I thought I had to be perfect. I was my worst enemy.  I have worried that I wasted time over my life focusing on the wrong thing, but we all learn at our own pace.  Plus, now I realize that life isn't about finding someone. It's about learning, growing and giving as generously as you can to others.  

Don't get me wrong. I'm terrible at dating. In fact, just last week I finally went out with a guy that I thought was more attractive than anyone I'd met in years.  I was so excited about just eating dinner with him but I actually botched up the whole night with my anxiousness. I am positive that I put off the vibe that it was more about what that guy could do for me than the opposite and I hate that because it's not at all what I feel. I was just nervous and a little out of practice because I had taken myself off of the market for the past few years.

I won't share the stories here out of respect for the guy and for me (ha!) but I'll just admit right here that I did and said some things that I wouldn't repeat, given the chance. The main difference now is that I'm taking the experience and learning as much as I can from it because I know the lessons will be valuable down the road. I'm no longer focusing on the embarrassment over my actions. I have peace because I know I'll get better at this dating stuff.  I just need more experience, so I'm allowing myself to go on dates and not take them so seriously. And really, I was just grateful for the opportunity to spend a little time with that guy, whatever happens in the future.  We really only have whatever moment we're in anyway.  

So if anyone is reading this and feeling a little blue about the state of your love life, just know that you don't have to loose 20 pounds in order to get someone to love you.  Do that for you! (I'm working on that myself.)  The main thing that will get your love life going is to love yourself.  This doesn't just mean making a list of your good qualities, although it's a good idea. This doesn't just mean having more confidence, although that is really attractive and will do a lot for your appearance in the eyes of others.  It means having the courage and peace to be open.  

Give to others through kindness, love, patience, a genuine interest in their life and a selfless generosity that means you truly care, no matter what you get back from them.  Because in the end, it isn't about what they can do for you.  If you are loving yourself, i.e. being patient with yourself as you learn and grow, taking care of yourself, realizing your worth and beauty, you'll have so much to give back that people won't be able to stay away. I promise. 

3 comments:

  1. Here's to the Year of Amy! This should be required reading for teenage girls, twentysomethings, thirty-year olds...Really terrific. And any guy that gets to go out with you is the lucky one!

    You are doing great things (teaching, art, music, the list goes on and on), and I can't wait to see how it all turns out!--sk

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  2. Oh Sara, thank you so much. I think the world of you and am honored to be your friend. I hope everything's going well down in Ft. Worth! :)

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