|Posted by MASO on February 13, 2014 at 1:10 PM|
Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th. It is another holiday where we are bombarded with the commercialization and record breaking sales of flowers, candy, stuffed teddy bears, romantic dinners, rom-com movies, sexy lingerie and the like with all the pressure to be romantic and passionate. For many individuals and couples, this day is about love, romance, and happiness. Many use this holiday to forge new relationships, engagements, and weddings.
We believe Valentine's Day should be a focus on love, but self-love first and foremost for we cannot attract the kind of loving relationship we deserve without it. Valentine’s Day should also serve as a reminder to focus on gratitude for what we have, as opposed to what is missing. Avoid focusing on the “woulda”, “shoulda”, “coulda” and other past stuff as that is the past. Banish those words altogether from your thoughts. Stay present in the here and now. You cannot change the past, but you can choose to not let your past steal your future and your now.
This is a season of love and love needs to also be about acceptance especially self-acceptance. It's about adjusting the expectations and not demanding perfection, or even seeking it. Love is about noticing what's good and nurturing it, as well as noticing what needs repair and attending to it.
However, even for those who have not been harmed by an abuser, Valentine’s Day can also be a day of idealisms of what we think our partner should be based on what we read in romantic novels, watch in the movies, as well as the imagery of the knight in shining armor and the white picket fence ideals we are brought up on. We use these ideals as a gage of pass or fail of love.
Valentine's Day can also be trigger for those who have been victimized by an abuser in their life and can be very difficult and painful day. This holiday can bring back for some a range of very sensitive painful memories, loneliness, and sadness.
For those survivors who are on a healing journey, please keep in mind that the abuse was NOT your fault. The abuse is never a victim’s fault, ever. The abuse perpetrated on the victim lies solely in the responsibility belonging to the person who offended. Again, let us reiterate, abuse is never a victim’s fault ever. This is true no matter how old you were or what you were doing at the time the abuse occurred.
With that said, everyone experiences their pain and traumas from abuse differently and at different rates. There is NO one correct way to feel, react, or heal. Everyone is unique in their own way and the abuse that was experienced is also unique even though certain things may be similar to that of other people. Everyone’s healing journey reflects that uniqueness with individual needs and pace. There is help available.
Just for today, celebrate love with all the triumphs, the struggles and the lessons we learn from our experiences with love and relationships that are both unhealthy and healthy.
At Massachusetts Survivors Outreach, we’re working to provide resources so everyone can experience the joy of healthy relationships not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day. It’s easy to feel alone, different, and isolated, but if you reach out, there are many people and resources that can help you. You might start by checking out a few of the resources MASO can offer. Have a happy day!
Please share your thoughts!
Categories: Healing From Abuse