I was never really big on Valentine’s Day. The reasons for my stance are more than I can count. I will admit that I always try to get my daughters something, even if it’s just some chocolates, just because I know how big a deal this day is to everyone else. But for me, nah. Of all the commercial holidays out there, Valentine’s Day isn’t anywhere on my list. OK, now, I know you’re curious, so I’ll give you the top 4 reasons why this “day of love” doesn’t mean to me what it does to others. And thennnnnn, I’ll tell y’all why being your own Valentine is Bae. Today and every day.
Reason #1: 12 years ago, Jerrell Smith, a young man I cared for deeply was buried. This was 7 days after his death. He was so talented. He could sing his ass off and was a dope ass poet with a heart of gold So awesome. Had so much promise. And then BAM! he’s gone. So this day is a reminder that this happened, that I miss him. RIH, Boo. Love you!
Reason #2: Before this year, 2019, I never had anyone that made me feel like I wasn’t single, alone, or unappreciated on Valentine’s Day. Yep, at 37-ripe-old-years of age, after two husbands and an ex-fiancée and this is the first time in my life that I felt loved. Well, by another person, anyway.
Reason #3: A day set to show off how much someone loves you, with jewelry, stuffed animals, cards, etc. that has been bought and sold in bulk, that somebody else will definitely have one of, isn’t my thing. Write me an original poem or rub my back or take the children to dinner so that I can write. AND, when I don’t need someone who waits for one day, chosen by the big corporations, to show me how much they love me. I don’t need one day to show that I love you if I show you every day. If nothing else, let Valentine’s Day be the standard for the love and adoration that you show your significant other every day of the week, all year long.
Reason #4: Being in love is the equivalent of being on a drug. The highs and lows take you on a rollercoaster that I’m not a fan of. I don’t do emotions. Just ask my girl. But I have to say, the feels can be fun, in moderation, just like any other inebriant. But how the hell do you get a handle on feelings? I mean, you can not pour another cup of liquor or leave the bar. You can decide not to take that hit of… whatever. But what you can’t do, is turn off love.
Now that I got that off my chest, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this thang!
The Journey To Real Love
I learn so much from my daughters. Self-love, and how to love unconditionally, are definitely things that they have taught me. And as I mentioned before, I do try to get them something for Valentine’s Day, even if it’s a Candy Gram that I buy at their schools, that they don’t see coming. 'Cause, I mean, what girl doesn't love a surprise?
But, I also tell them that they are beautiful and smart and talented and that I love and adore them every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. I make a big deal out of them doing the smallest thing, because they need that kind of affirmation to boost their confidence. Especially in a world that’s so cruel to girls and judge them by unrealistic standards. I love on them so hard so that when someone tries to give them the bare minimum, they’re not impressed.
A Wake-Up Call
About a year ago, I realized that I didn’t do the same for me. I was in a situation where I wasn't being treated well, and in a head space where I thought it was ok, and supposed to be that way. I had been mistreated for so long that I thought that was what I deserved. So that was what I accepted. I was broken.
Before then, I'd never told myself that I was dope, and when someone else would tell me, because of my romantic track record, I felt like they wanted something for it. Usually, I was right. I could blame them for being terrible partners. But I couldn’t blame them for everything. I didn’t know what I wanted or needed, and my standards were ridiculously low, which meant that I didn’t demand what I deserved. Why? Because I didn’t know what love was. I'd never really been shown. But then one day... I woke up. I may not have known what love was, but I knew for damn sure what it was not!
Who Loves Ya, Baby? You Do!... Or At Least You Should...
I stood up for myself and demanded the love and treatment I knew I deserved. It cost me everything, almost my life. But if given the chance, I would definitely do it again. Because now I know what I deserve.
It took me losing everything, including myself, and going on a journey to find her… me… and convince me that I should give me another chance to realize the error of my ways. Now, can’t nobody love me better than I love me. And if you can’t love me like I love me, you need to move the hell around.
That’s my advice to all of y’all! And I’m gonna show you how.
I Love Me Some Me
On Valentine’s Day, and every other day, I have to find a way to love on me. See, I believe that self-love is such an important thing. So few people do it. But I’m a firm believer that you can’t honestly say that you are or aren’t being loved if you don’t know what love is and feels like. And you sure as hell can’t teach someone how to love you properly, if you don’t know how you like and need to be loved.
Not enough people know who they are, and they attach to others and accept anything that is given to them. That’s how toxicity is bred. That’s how people lose themselves in their mate, and if/when things don’t work out, you’re back at square one. It’s back to the drawing board. But here’s the thing… if you don’t know who you are, then where do you begin? Where do you go from there? What usually happens is that you attach to the next person and the cycle continues and continues and continues to continue.
But I’m here to help you break that cycle. Are ya ready???
Ways to love on yourself on Valentine’s Day and EVERY Day:
Know your Love Language
You ever loved someone, or had someone saying that they loved you, but you didn't feel loved? It may be because they weren't loving you in the right language.
Love Languages are the best thing since sliced bread. They’re like a zodiac for your love life. They tell you what you identify as loving, and each of us is different. Find yours. Then love on yourself that way. Get used to how amazing it feels. Then don’t take a love that doesn’t feel just as amazing.
I had a friend tell me once that you have to "give a person the love they need, not the love you want to love them." Knowing your own, and subsequently your partner's, love language allows you to love one another how you need to be loved.
The dope thing about love languages is that you don't have to be with someone who loves just like you. You just have to be able to show them what you process as love and have an understanding of what they process as love and then love on one another that way.
But, before you do all that with somebody else... *leans in and whispers* Why not start with you first?
A Hot Date
Take yourself out. Yeah, it may be awkward, especially tonight, or this weekend, when everyone is all cuddled up and shit. But if you’re a bold one, then have at it. Walk up in that restaurant, face beat to the gawds, dressed like the diva you are, smelling like heaven, and sit down to a good meal. Hell, T-Pain yourself and buy yourself a drink… or two. But not if you’re driving, because though dating yourself ain’t illegal, drinking and driving– it kinda is.
Fellas, this goes for you, too. Go get a fresh line-up, step out all crispy and fresh, smelling like bow-chicka-wow-wow, and get yourself a nice t-bone steak. Or go for a walk in the park and enjoy the beautiful scenery that nature has to offer. Go to a movie, a concert, a play. Take yourself shopping or to the museum. Try something new– sip’n’ stroke (painting, pervs lol), pole dancing or line dancing classes, do comedy/poetry/karaoke open mic, work-out, or go to a yoga and meditation class.