For all my
I saw her. As I finished my roast beef sandwich I looked over and there she was, writing a letter. I couldn’t help but peek, it was addressed, “Hello, love!”. A love letter, of course, Valentine’s day is just around the corner. Then I caught myself, longing. It’s too bad I don’t have someone to write a love letter to this year. Wait a minute, yes I do! This is my love letter to myself. But don’t worry, I’ve spared the mushy stuff and leave you with but a few thoughts.
Before we love, we must learn what it means to love. When we’re born, we have no idea, yet it’s the love from our parents or caretakers that nurse us to strength and self-sustainability. Without it, we'd die. So we learn early on that loving involves giving, usually without expecting anything in return.
Most people just want to be happy. Last week, I wrote how to be a source of happiness, and why it’s critical for lasting relationships. Loving someone makes us feel desirable, but if you don’t see yourself that way intrinsically, you might find yourself hurt when Prince Charming becomes the Duke of Duchebaggery. The love that we feel for ourselves must lay the foundation for the relationships we build.
When you love yourself, you make sacrifices. It takes time and energy to improve your health, intelligence, career, and relationships. Your commitment might require that you pass on that extra drink at the bar or that regrettably unfulfilling hookup. How much are you willing to give up to become the person you know you can be?
If you love yourself first, the subsequent loves in your life serve that purpose. When our loves become a significant source of pain it's time to rethink our priorities. It's not rational to vaporize your own hopes and dreams for someone who'd accept such a sacrifice. I wouldn't want anyone sacrificing their dreams for me, thank you very much. One of the most attractive qualities is someone who knows what they want and is on a personal conquest to make it reality. A hero’s journey can have many accomplices, but ultimately it’s one that must be made alone.
I’ve had Valentine’s before. It felt like I was doing something right. I mean, it's an entire day dedicated to love, and I had it! But, if you’re single, you can still celebrate the idea of love. It’s one of those magical emotions in life that exist for no explicable reason other than the very fact that it does. I’m not talking sex, that has a very practical purpose, I’m referring to the unexpected note left under your morning cup of coffee, embarrassing surprise birthday parties, or ridiculously random pillow-talk conversations that serve no purpose. They simply and beautifully exist.
Some years we’re on the receiving end of that letter. Others, we’re single. But know this, everything you ever need to be great in this world already exists within you.
With boundless love,
Brian J. Hertzog