As I sat, snuggled with my daughter the other night, we read about princes and princesses, living in a fairy tale world. I read about falling in love and the mystical "true love." At that moment my preschooler looked up at me and said, "You're my true love, Mommy!" And she is right! She is mine!
I know what its like to yearn to be loved, yet not. I have friends who wear heartache in the form of bruises. I've witnessed words slice through your soul until you bleed. I have also felt the piercing thought of simply being ignored, and unsupported. These are not feelings, actions or beliefs that are written in children's stories. For these are stories people keep hidden.
I know I sound cynical, as a recent divorcee, but I've never believed in valentines. Racing into the store to buy half dead roses and stale chocolates once a year, was never my idea of true love. I would rather show my affection through out a lifetime, filled with undying flowers and spontaneous tastes of chocolate. I want to share laughs and blessings with all those around me. I want to know that my true love has the very best of me, and leave her with strength and inspiration.
If you've got the fairy tale I applaud you! My entire life I wanted the romance of, "they lived happily ever after." I wanted true love. I craved a "man" to sweep me off my feet, love me unconditionally, and support my endeavors. I have yet to find this man. However, I now know I am surrounded by true love! My heart is full of those that adore me, even though it's not the traditional.
I have family and friends, adoptive family and faith that have bombarded me with the love and support I've always searched for. I am overwhelmed at the support and love of strangers. I have always had pets that depend on me for food and shelter, and while they may be starving or on the brink of death, hugs are more nourishing to them than anything else.
Just because my "ideal" hasn't developed, doesn't mean my life isn't ideal. I no longer struggle with the need for acceptance. Life is about writing your own unique fairy tale, not that of make believe. It's about savoring every moment, including the ones you wish to turn the page on. In order to live a fulfilled life, you must take those paragraphs and chapters and grow. You must continue to write and hope it's filled with adventure and insight. No one wants to read the same chapter over and over again.
With a whirlwind weekend of love and kisses, chocolates and roses, take this moment to reflect on your true loves. I am planning a glamorous day with pink pedicures, and being princesses with mine. My dad is taking his three sweethearts to dinner. Take this opportunity to watch a movie with your best friend. Snuggle your fur babies or cuddle a stuffed animal. Look at where your true love lies. Whatever you do, whomever you're with, learn to love yourself first. Know YOU are beautiful! Know that regardless of your storm or the people in your circle, YOU are loved. I think YOU are fabulous. Whether your valentine is a spouse of 30 years, your child or just a friend, you can be LIT WITHIN! Your prince is there, he just might not be dressed the way you imagined.