You’ve read some version of this Valentine’s month update for the past several years but it’s an all-year topic of conversation for many of us. Love, in all its iterations, is a tricky state of mind.
The romantic myth of Valentine’s Day would have you believe that your love is delivered in a box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers. If only it were that easy. To last past the honeymoon, love must be built on a foundation of trust and intimacy. And that cannot be ordered on-line from Florists’ Transworld Delivery (FDT) or Fannie May. It takes two people allowing their powerful feelings to surface, even as they know the tender emotions they share make them vulnerable to the risk of potential heartbreak.
Until you feel positive about the person you are, sustaining an intimate relationship without losing yourself in the swirl of emotion that can be so dizzying, is a difficult proposition. You must love yourself at the start to remain whole whether the relationship flourishes… or subsides.
Intimacy, sharing on a level of mutual understanding without elaborate didactic explanation, is intensely gratifying… and extremely frightening. It takes a sustained commitment if love is to bloom. And therein lies the danger; the fear of disappearing; losing individuality to the overwhelming power of “the couple.”
You must believe you are worthy of love, recognizing it as the nourishment needed in order to have the energy required to sustain the relationships you cherish. Love yourself, and you are empowered to love others.
The concept that self-love provides the foundation for loving others remains elusive for many caring and generous people who have trouble saying no, setting boundaries, and honoring their own needs. Self-caring is about being aware of your needs and satisfying them appropriately so you can open your heart to others.
The positive traits you bring to a relationship enable you to dance joyously in the “feeling” of love and stay firm in the sustained commitment that true love requires.
And finally, Q: Why didn’t the skeleton want to send any Valentine’s Day cards? A: His heart wasn’t in it.
THE IN-SOURCING HANDBOOK
Where and How to Find the Happiness You Deserve
by Arlene Englander L.C.S.W.