Happy Valentine’s Day to Me – My Journey to Finding Self-Love After Heartbreak

After losing who I thought was the love of my life back in October and as if going through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and my birthday alone were not enough, here we are on the most dreaded day of the year- Valentine’s Day.  My first Valentine’s Day being single in 4 years and my first one after a major heartbreak.

After giving this some good thought and anticipating the dread surrounding this day, I originally thought I should just stay ultra busy, so I picked up a double hoping it would take my mind off of my lack of a love life, and at the very least I could pray on all the hopeless romantics out there and make some good tip money!

As time continued to progress though, I really started to think about how my life had evolved from being ready to get married and have kids and being so in love to where I am now.  To the outside looking in, I am a single woman, borderline crazy with 2 dogs and a cat and probably look like I drink too much via Instagram.  Now all of that is not completely inaccurate…because much of that is true and got me to where I am now.

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Me writing about all of this is not me professing to have anything figured out as I know I am far from that, but it is me being vulnerable and open about my journey to loving myself more than I knew possible 4 months ago, and also me admitting many of my faults along the way and the long journey still ahead of this moment in time.

When I think back to the first Valentine’s day I can remember, I think of Ms. Mazzaros 5th grade class at Wagon Wheel Elementary.  Oh young love!  Now back in the day this was one of my favorite holidays…partially because I am that weirdo who likes SweetHearts and I also loved the attention from all my classmates who would put cute little store bought themed valentines in my decorated shoebox on my desk.  If you ask me that should still be a thing.  Not much has changed since those days except that the SweetHearts go straight to my ass and believe it or not I crave attention even more than I did then.  They were doing something right back then though… everyone was required to bring enough Valentine cards for every single classmate.  Now that’s spreading the love!  After an eventful day at school, I loved coming home because my parents made Valentine’s Day a holiday that we all spent together, either having dinner at home with heart shaped cookies or going out for the evening, so imagine my surprise when I grew up and life wasn’t quite like that.

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I think as a millennial we have this weird concept of love.  We either don’t put enough emphasis on it or we put all of our eggs into one basket of love surrounding just one person.  We either throw “I love you” out to every person we speak to or we pour all of the love we are capable of into one person (usually a significant other).  By the way… GUILTY.  I am the queen of telling every single person I love them because I do in some way and our society is so used to overusing this phrase, but I was also the person who made my significant other my entire life because I thought that is what you are supposed to do when you find “the one”.  Having “the one” taken from me out of the blue left me feeling unloved and like I lost all the love I was ever capable of receiving and giving.  Boy, was I wrong.  I have received and given more love in the last few months than I even knew possible.  I found a love greater than anything I had ever experienced in my friends, my family, my animals, coworkers, and complete strangers.  Redirecting my focus of love opened my eyes to all the other places it could be found and the most surprising place was in myself.

After spending too much time feeling bad for myself, asking myself why constantly, starving myself because it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as my heart, and crying at everything, I finally realized that this was no way to live.  The longer you feel sorry for yourself, the longer you stay in the deepest holes of life.  A major turning point for me was when all of my girlfriends flew out for my birthday to make sure I felt more love on that day than on any other birthday I had ever had.  Mission accomplished.  How could so many people put their problems and heartaches aside so that I could feel so much love and happiness?  They reminded me of the badass chica that I am and that anyone who gets to have Christy in their life is lucky.

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After letting someone dictate the way I felt about myself for years, this was the first time that I decided only I would be the person to dictate how I felt about me.  And for all those years, that person never even made me feel bad about myself, but without him I didn’t feel validated in who I was and when he disappeared from my life, it left a hole and lack of sensing who I was and how great I was.

So, how did I go from the lowest of lows to being in a place where I am finally comfortable and see my greatness and all the potential ahead?  I started with remembering how to do things for myself…simple things like the dishes, laundry, working out and walking the dogs.  It was amazing how taking control over the most basic things in life made me feel so productive and in turn made me realize I was starting to gain control of my life again.  That then turned into reminding myself on sad days what I was grateful for.  Some days it was things as simple as getting out of bed and going for a walk, other days it was for my motivation to kill it at everything I could do, and on others it was family, the dogs, and a walk to the beach.  It’s funny, when you start thinking about everything you do have instead of what is lacking and you realize so quickly how lucky you really are.  My best friend Liz was just telling me how her mom always says, if we all wrote down our problems on a piece of paper and threw it into a pile, that we would hope to God we would get our own piece of paper.  Ain’t that the truth!!  Now my list of grateful is way out of control and I could go on for days!!

I think for a lot of people the idea of control really messes with their self-love and healing.  I am an absolute control freak and to gain control of my life again, I had to contradict myself and give up the idea that I can control anyone or anything.  Once I did that a weight was literally lifted off of me.  Of course I was being driven crazy over trying to control the outcome of things that were impossible to control.  If I could’ve controlled everything I wanted, I wouldn’t be writing this right now and I’d probably be back 4 months ago.

Moral of my crazy Valentine’s Day rant… love should be celebrated everyday not just this day and you should celebrate it amongst all the people who show you love, not just a significant other.  Start today by thanking Mother Earth and the Heavens for yourself and your beautifully out of control life and tell yourself that YOU love YOU.  Whether you are in a loving relationship with a significant other or not, remember that there are so many people who love you in your life, not just the one who gives you flowers, chocolates and teddy bears.  Most importantly, remember how wonderful you are and acknowledge all the love you have for yourself because you are you, and that is amazing.  Today is about love and I encourage all of you to think of all the people who you love and tell them, including yourself- you never know who may be feeling extra lonely and need to hear it 🙂

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I hope you all realize that everyone around you has been through some stuff, the good, the bad, the ugly.  Healing from the craziness of life starts from within and can’t be done until you are ready, but it is aided with the amazing people in your life who support you always.

Thank you to all the people who have come through my life and reminded me of the rad person I am and am continuing to work at.  You all make me smile and appreciate life so much more than I ever have.  Happy Valentine’s Day Lovers and go do something sweet for someone today!

 

Xoxo

 

Christy

 

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