I Used to Hate Valentine's Day
I’m presently in a relationship, yes. But before that I was single for 2 years, dating here and there, but never something serious. I like to think the relationships we have with others are a direct reflection of the relationships we have with ourselves. See, I wasn’t consciously running away from love, but deep down I knew I was. Because I was running away from my own feelings. I was happy and confident, but I was still hurting, still scared of intimacy and the truth. I was covering up wounds with band-aids... not great. A relationship asks you to be vulnerable. It reflects your flaws and it holds you accountable. I wasn’t ready for that. I liked living in my perfect little bubble of wild nights and fake friendships.
Sometimes you need things to crumble to realize you weren’t as happy as you thought you were. That yes, you still have more work to do.
That’s what happened a year ago. After losing many people in my life, I decided screw it, I’m tired of being scared. I booked a self-love retreat on the other side of the world, in Bali, Indonesia and a full 30 hours of flights. The boldest move I’ve made in my life. The loneliest and yet the best decision I could have made. Through this personal project of seeking real confidence, I met the most positive people ever in my life. I opened my mind to so many new possibilities. I’ve grown in the past year beyond expectations, I’m stronger in every way possible, and I’m actively working on healing.
I used to hate Valentine’s Day. I thought it was a show-off holiday for people to pretend to be happy with their relationship. And no, I am not going to tell you I changed my mind.
Yes sometimes it’s easier to pretend you’re happy, with your friends or partner, than to realize that in reality it’s a toxic relationship. It’s easier to put all your energy on others, your love and the blame than to look at yourself. And no, I am not saying it’s impossible to be happy in a relationship – just keep on reading.
You might have a hateful relationship with yourself. You might be fooling yourself into happiness, success, and everything great and yet, you feel stuck.
This Valentine’s Day, I’m in a long-term relationship (which to be honest, I didn’t think I would be able to pull that off again haha). I am in a great relationship, but it doesn’t mean it can’t get even better. I will not spend that day with my partner. No, I will be embarking on my flight to Bali and all things self-love. I don’t believe in coincidences. I was “available” all these years with no one to spend it with, and now that I have someone, I’m also going to be gone. Gone to seek the truth of myself.
Because that’s one thing I learned through feeling all this pain: there’s a paradise waiting for you if you give yourself a chance. Not one where you get saved, not one where you get loved back to life. Nope, it’s one where you learn to love your own damn self, the imperfections and the flaws, the talents and the successes, on the difficult roads and through the heartbreaks, every single day. You have to make every day your day. No one can be happy for you and someone loving you won’t change how you feel about yourself. It all comes from you. And the relationships you have with others are often an unconscious decisions of what you accept into your life, and how you see yourself. Someone breaking your heart might just be life’s way of telling you that you've still got some shit to heal within yourself.
You can’t expect to have happy relationships if the people in your life aren't happy and you can’t expect it either if you aren’t truly.
Written by: Camille Richard