It’s Valentines week … how are you feeling?
Personally, I’ve always had a love / hate relationship with Valentine’s Day … here’s where it started:
When I was in the 4th grade, I had a huge crush on this new dark haired boy in my class named Daniel.
I’d like to tell you that it was because he was kind, or brilliant, or the best speller in the class. But honestly, it was just because he was new, and I thought he was cute. And maybe because he was shy, and that seemed sweet.
I kept my feelings hidden to anyone but myself and my best friend Sherry –who liked him too– for months. We both spent many a daydream sitting by him in class, hanging out with him at recess, and other acts of 4th grade love.
Finally, on Valentine’s Day, we decided to reveal our secret crushes.
I scrutinized my entire box of Valentine’s cards to find the perfect phrase — one that said “I really like you a LOT” but that could also pass for just an average valentine’s card in case I needed to save face.
Probably something like one of these:
Next, I spent days agonizing over whether or not to sign my name or to be anonymous.
In a big burst of courage, Sherry decided she was going to sign her name to her card, so I was encouraged to risk it too. And then just to be certain he knew it was a special card for a special person, I also added a handful of cut out hearts inside the envelope.
Man. I still remember the breathless anticipation of waiting for acknowledgement… in vain … inspecting each of the valentines I received … breathlessly anticipating one with his signature. … Nothing!
And then the masterfully orchestrated denial that fell into place …. First, I convinced myself he hadn’t given valentines to anyone.
And then, once I knew I’d been dissed after Sherry reluctantly showed me her card (with such grace and genuine sadness for me, and no gloating at all) she suggested that his card to me must have fallen out and been accidentally thrown away by the janitor.
Because that’s the kind of friend she was.
My second major Valentine’s Day memory is from years later, when I was a junior in high school. I was the publicity manager of our student council, and that year we decided to sell carnations as a fund raiser.
By lunch time, it felt like everyone in the school had received a carnation –except me!
I was pretty forlorn and feeling sorry for myself, and my best friend Sherry had transferred to another school, so there was no one there to convince me my carnation had been dropped and accidentally thrown away by the janitor.
Just when I was ready to throw myself off the second floor balcony, the delivery person handed me a pink carnation –for friendship– from one of my guy friends.
I will never forget that small kindness.
Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Let’s pause for a moment to consider …
It’s wonderful to have amazing friends who will either help you concoct the perfect face saving excuse when you didn’t get that valentine from the boy you liked, or that interview … or that second date, or whatever.
Or one who will supply you with exactly the encouragement you need at exactly the right time … whether that comes in the form of a pink carnation or a beautifully selected card, or simply kind words on a rough day.
I wish those kinds of friendships for you. Always.
Wouldn’t it also be amazing if you could always be that kind of friend … to YOURSELF?
Here’s a little quiz for you:
- Do you often call yourself names (like dummy or stupid or ugly or fat)?
- How often do you treat yourself with sarcasm?
- Do you criticize yourself frequently?
- Do you always say kind things to yourself when you look in the mirror?
- Do you isolate yourself when you’re feeling most down?
- When you’re having a bad day, do you obsess or fixate on everything that’s going wrong?
- How do you treat yourself when you’re going through pain?
- When you’re feeling inadequate about something, do you compare yourself to everyone else who seems to be better at it than you are?
- How do you treat the parts of yourself that you don’t like?
- When something painful happens, do you find yourself thinking about it over and over?
Based on your answers above, if YOU were your own best friend, would you even hang out with yourself?
For most women, the answer is no. And if someone was treating OUR best friend the way we treat ourselves, we’d tell them to end that friendship immediately. Right?
Even if not all of your answers to the questions were terrible, I bet there is still room for improvement, am I right?
So what can you do to practice being a better friend to yourself?
Join me in March for a 30-Day Self Judgment Detox.
This $27 mini-course will teach you:
- A four step process to detox from self-judgment
- Four + practices to honor and release old wounds
- Meditations and creative practices for emancipating old stories
- How to finally forgive yourself
- Lessons in becoming a best friend to yourself
You will get:
- Bi-weekly emails with specific instruction over 30 days
- Made for you matrixes to help you track your journey
- Encouragement and inspiration along the way
Interested? Know someone else who might be?
Sign up now by clicking this link.
“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” –Brene’ Brown