February 14, 2011 – I was sitting in a Co-Dependency specific group at Celebrate Recovery. Let me tell you, there are few more depressing places to be and conversations to be a part of than a Co-Dependency support group on Valentine’s Day. I remember hearing story after story of heartbreak and how this was one of the hardest days of the year. I also took off my “woe is me” hat and threw it in the ring. There was a point where I sat back in my chair and chuckled because felt like I was watching an opening scene of a self-deprecating romantic comedy – where the main character has hit rock bottom, but by the end of the film she has met the love of her life and they live “Happily Ever After.” After two failed abusive marriages, that is at least the happy ending I had hoped for. Little did I know that my story of love and loss was far from over.
For some of us Valentine’s Day sparks excitement, and it should. Anticipation of a beautiful night out with the one we love or flowers showing up at work with a sentimental card. Maybe breakfast in bed or a cozy evening on the couch with a movie and wine. It’s a day to celebrate and show love. It’s a fun day where all seems right in the world. If you are lucky enough to have someone in your life whom you love and who loves you back, enjoy it!!! Enjoy all the excitement and hugs and kisses and sparkles and chocolate and hearts and just all of it!!!
For others of us who find today to be one of the worst or annoying days of the year like a big flashing neon sign pointing out the fact that we have not been so lucky in love, first, let me say, Don’t ruin it for everyone else. Be happy for those who are happy. The Bible says that he who finds a wife finds a good thing and that we are to rejoice with those who rejoice. Second, I want to encourage you to not give up hope or shut yourself off to love. It’s easy to become bitter and closed off when we’ve been hurt by someone we loved. The desire to withdraw and not open up to potentially being let down again is a real thing. Believe me, I get it. There have been so many times in my 34 years where I’ve wanted to just say, “Forget this. I’m done!” We cannot guarantee that we won’t be hurt in this life. We live in a fallen world where bad things happen. We also live in a beautiful world where wonderful things happen. I think back on all that I would have missed out on in life if I lived in a little corner where I believed no one would hurt me.
This Valentine’s Day let me encourage you to “Rejoice with those who rejoice” and then get out of your comfort zone a little. Reach out to someone. Consider saying “Yes!” if someone reaches out to you. Ask someone to coffee or look someone in the eye and say hello. They may say no or look away and pretend they didn’t hear you, but they might not. If anything, it may be the start of a beautiful friendship. You love some; you lose some. It’s life. It’s messy. It’s beautiful. Don’t miss it.