If you’re like me, this year’s Valentine’s Day will be looking a bit different from ones past. Valentine’s Day used to be another day in which I received a material gift and gave a material gift. It was also a day of acknowledgment of my significant other, but let’s be honest, gifts.
Whether I received flowers, chocolates or a new bag to flaunt, the things never brought me the happiness I thought it might, and almost always set me back at least $100.00. But the emptiness didn’t just exist in my wallet after the day came to an end, my heart would inevitably come off the high of the new things and I’d settle back into my unclaimed disappointment.
The expectations I learned from the traditions of Valentine’s Day literally killed any chance any partner of mine had in satisfying me. I watched people around me receive gifts, go to dinner, and even go on trips for such holidays. I mean, it looked like it completed them and made them a stronger couple. And maybe it did. It just didn’t for me.
With no fault of my ex-husband’s, I was always empty and disappointed, and truly happy to get the holiday over with. It was never enough, and I couldn’t have told you why. I was treated like a queen and given the world, so what gives?
I lacked connection. I lacked the knowledge and experience of what deep connection can bring. Not only was I in complete denial that I yearned for connection when it came to my relationships, I enabled the behavior and cycle by striving to consume more. If I could make more money, we could buy more things and be happier than ever.
Just kidding, that’s a crock of shit. And when I ripped my head from the sand, I made the biggest life changing decision of my life, to seek connection, to seek meaning and truth. It was painful and ugly and awful and I just wanted to stick my head back in the sand. It just hurt too much!
But then I found it. I found connection. And I learned the best kept secret ever.
No one could fill my void. No one could live up to my expectations. No one could fulfill me and no amount of gifts could numb the pain. I needed to connect with myself. And so I did.
Connecting with myself allowed me to shed layers of bullshit expectations I had learned over my lifetime. It supported me in relearning that Valentine’s Day is a time to honor connection with my significant other, not my connection with things.
Don’t get me wrong, gifts are amazing and gifts can have wonderful meaning. They can hold symbolism and sentiment, but it’s about so much more than that. Along with the gifts should come connection.
I had it wrong for so long.
I met someone with whom I share a deep connection and in this season of my life, I choose connection over things. For Valentine’s Day, I don’t have a material gift for my partner, and I won’t be disappointed if she doesn’t have one for me. We are choosing to spend the little time we have together connecting through time spent together and our spirituality. Nothing could fill my heart more. Nothing could make me feel more loved.
Connection has given me so much more than I could ever ask for in physical form. It’s about what I hold in my heart, not in my hands.