I watched Charlie Brown’s Valentine’s Day yearly TV program a couple of days ago. It was sad and reminiscent. Charlie was so very optimistic that he would get gobs of Valentine’s. He brought a brief case to school to hold them all and then wondered if he should have brought two. You knew full well all along he wasn’t going to get any and your heart ached for him. Poor little guy. It hurts to not be popular. It feels shameful. His little cheeks turned pink and then red and he had a truly forlorn look in his wide surprised eyes.
I totally got it. I got very few Valentine’s when they were taken from the decorated box the class made in preparation for the school party. More often than once that happened. I got so I did not at all look forward to Valentine’s Day and often wondered if I could get away with having a stomach ache and stay home. But that wouldn’t work because maybe I would get some, and besides, I had to take mine in to put in the box.
Sometimes the rule was you gave a Valentine to everybody and that year it was fun to get the surprises and the messages and be surrounded by a feeling that I was being seen and noticed and mattered. Other years that wasn’t the rule and I would hide any I got so I wouldn’t feel so ashamed that others received so many more.
Or the year I had a Halloween Party and no one showed up. Or the year I stood on the side lines at the school dance and watched everyone dance……or being last to be chosen for the softball team…..Childhood is exceedingly painful for most of us, one way or another. It feels so very serious at the time. The thoughtlessness of others just becomes the norm until some one steps up and takes the chance to make a change. I have always had eminence regard for my son-in-law Robert who ALWAYS included EVERY child in the soccer game, or my daughter Michelle who welcomed into her home the student from another country who wasn’t fitting in well with their sponsor family.
Charlie Brown spent a whole hour helping us see ourselves, soothe and comfort that shame that he felt, and move to a place of hope with him that next year might be different. He might need 3 brief cases to carry all the Valentine’s he would hope to be getting next year!
Well, those of us who are single face very likely not getting a Valentine this year. And you know what? I really do not care at all. It feels way less important than when I was little and the shame of not being seen burned quietly inside me. Today I know I choose myself, I choose the life I have created for myself, I have made and am making excellent choices for friends, things I do, how I live, what I want for the next 20 years of my life. It has been a long difficult journey. I am still walking the walk of learning and growing, stepping into my life with pride and joy, making changes and celebrating. But I am doing all of that and more.
I am daily almost without exception, writing a newsletter titled: Quotes, Thoughts, and Gratitudes for the day. It gives me such an excellent start to the day. I look forward to writing it. And I like the feeling that I am connecting to many others who are also starting their day and we are all together focusing on making it the best day possible for what life is offering today.
Feelings follow thought. If I think gratitude, I will remember to notice all I DO have rather than feel what I don’t have or wish I had, or others have, or might have had if I had somehow done something different. Like blame myself for feeling sad. I can feed sad or angry or shame or hurt, and still find a LOT to be grateful for.
If you want to get on my Quote, Thought, Gratitude for the day list, just email me and I will add you happily: email@example.com You are under NO obligation or expectation to respond to me and you are welcome to respond if you are so moved.
Next blog I want to share ways to help those of us who are single give love and joy to ourselves for Valentine’s Day. The bottom line reality is how we feel about ourselves is all that truly matters……or a least, a great big part of what really matters in this life we have been given with it’s joys and it’s fears, it’s hopes and it’s despairs.
Learning to really take charge of our life is a gift and a delight. I can make myself a delicious cup of hot chocolate with or without marshmallows and maybe a shot of Bailey’s, or I can have hot lemon water and be proud of cleansing my inside self, but disappointed in the lack of luxury.
Hugs and love, Nancy