Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day and if you are in a happy relationship, congratulations. For the rest of you, I encourage to make the most of this day designated for lovers.

After my husband died in 1999, this was the worst holiday for me! I could get through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s but by the time this day came around, I was very depressed. And let me tell you, it wasn’t like my husband was the most romantic guy on the planet. In fact, we hardly ever did anything on Valentine’s Day. I rarely even got a card. But the point is, I knew I was in a relationship and had someone to share that day with.

After Dave died, I would hear all the advertisements (torture). “Buy the one you love. . .” “Take the one you love. . .” It was sickening! Every year, I would feel sorry for myself and fall into a little mini depression for the day.

Then, one year, I said ENOUGH ALREADY. I know my feelings are determined by what I think. If I didn’t want to feel sad, I had to think other thoughts. I recognized a lot of what I was thinking was, “Poor me. I don’t have a life partner anymore. I’m left all alone in my 30s. Not fair. Life is harsh. Will I ever again have anyone to share this day with? Probably not.” What a script for depression.

I spent probably my fourth Valentine’s Day alone, writing thank you notes to the people in my life and the life of my sons who had helped me raised them. People who had reached out and shared a part of themselves to make my sons’ lives better. I know that gratitude wasn’t going to lead to depression.

That was the Valentine’s Day I began to heal. I took control of what I had control over–what I did and what I thought. I was able to change a historically depressing day into a day of gratitude and thanks. I challenge each of you reading this post who is feeling a little down today to do something that will empower you and change your feelings of sadness to positivity and strength.

Let me know the creative ways you decide to do this. I’m wishing you well and know you are not alone on this day or any day.

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