I also remember telling myself back then that there were people who loved me as I tried to talk myself into not having my own pity party. But as I thought about it, I came to the realization that there are people everywhere who won't be getting valentines. I wasn't the only one. What if I did something special for someone else who wouldn't be getting a valentine that day? What if I lifted someone else up?
Some people have kinder hearts than I've ever thought of having. My mother is one of those people. She's took Christmas gifts for people in jail she didn't know and bought clothes for little children in unfortunate circumstances and taught me what it is to love strangers just because they were God's creations.
Though I've had my mother-like moments, I still have to fight selfishness and the compulsion to whine about my own problems sometimes. I remember Valentine's Day that year being such a time but I also remember not liking letting the silly day have that power over me. I wanted to change.
So, instead of caving in to self-pity, I decided to bring someone else joy on Valentine's Day. I found that just thinking along those lines was enough to change my attitude and when I really thought about it, it wasn't hard to think of someone.
Now, I'm not going to go into what I did or who I did it for. Though I'm not beyond bragging about myself, I don't want this little blog to turn into some self-congratulatory pat on the back. That's not the point here.
But what I do want to tell you is how wonderful doing something for someone else made me feel.
It turned my sad Valentine's Day into a much sweeter one because I knew I had made someone else happy. It left me with a wonderful memory and taught me a lesson.
So, if this is not a special Valentine Day for you or if memories hurt and you'd rather just get it over with, spend some time thinking of someone else who could benefit from a touch from you today. Make someone else your Valentine.
Giving a Valentine card or gift doesn't have to be a romantic thing and it doesn't even have to be expensive or time consuming and I will guarantee you this: It will help take your mind off of yourself as you make someone else's Valentine's Day brighter in the process. Who knows...you might just get through the day a little bit easier and it might turn out not to be such a bad Valentine's Day after all.
And that's the way I see it from this catbird seat...
But I could not send out this blog without acknowledging the Valentine of my life, Jim Russell. I wrote this poem for him the first year I met him and it's still one of my favorites of my own poetry because it reminds me of what I've come through to get to him and the knowledge that he was worth it all.
I’ve had other Valentines
Throughout the years
In darker times
And gifts attached with hopes to mend
The hurts that superseded them.
I’ve had other Valentines
& Carded lines
Of convenience—love words thrown
Kill two birds with just one stone.
And now it is that day again
Deceits for sweets
And thorn-torn skin
Faded flowers petal thin
Like memories of other men
But waiting on another shore
He stands detached
From my before
Acknowledging with childlike eyes
An innocence of loveless lies.
And I believe
This time too
Every valentine is true.
(From: Through the Back Door of My Consciousness)
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