|Still Life with Lilies II
Show Yourself How Much You Care...
By Regina Pickett Garson
The other day my daughter came home from school talking about
a Valentine fund raiser. The school is selling heart shaped
brownies for the children to send their special friends. They
can even send them anonymously.
Everyone she said was trying to buddy up to make sure to get
a brownie. I know this is not nice to presume, but what if your
child doesn't get a brownie, what if they don't find a buddy?
Most of us can remember times when we were left out. Maybe
everyone else paired off for a dance and we never
got a date. Luckily a brownie is easier to produce than a date.
It's also easier to use in learning to love and appreciate yourself.
One event was very special to me. I won a small award,
not a Nobel prize or anything grand on a world scale, but I wanted flowers.
Now my special someone was a nice sort of guy, and he would have bought
me flowers if I told him I wanted them, or
I could have sulked until he read
my mind. Get real.
I did something very innovative for me. I bought myself flowers.
I didn't spend a lot, just a small bouquet to tell me that I appreciated
me. I liked me and I was proud of what I had done. Those flowers
felt good. Every time I looked at them I felt good. Now when I
think back to that award, what I remember most was not the award, but that I learned
to give myself flowers.
I keep hearing ads for Valentine's Day and every time I do, I think about those flowers. I think about all the Valentine Days I rushed to an empty mailbox and sat alone feeling left out of the world. Valentineís Day can be the unhappiest holiday of the year, and I love holidays. On Valentine's Day, we routinely put all of our emotional feel goods in someone else's lap. We are supposed to wait patiently to be told how wonderful and how loved we truly are.
It sounds worse every minute. I think it's not just okay, itís probably a good idea, to tell the kids that when that brownie cart comes around to buy themselves a Valentine. Tell that to yourself, too. If you sit around waiting for someone else to tell you how special you are, you may wait for a very long time. I donít even mean that to sound negative. But somehow, it seems like I have spent more Valentine Days wishing for Valentines than getting them and I canít honestly say that I havenít got my fair share. I truly have, but it is the times in between that bring so much pain and there is no reason for it to be that way.
If kids learn it early, they are truly ahead of the game. They won't spend chunks of their life in aimless waiting. It is never too late to learn it though. Moments spent with special friends are treasures, but so are the moments spent alone. And I can almost guarantee, every single one of us will feel a whole lot better eating a brownie we provided for ourselves than sitting around watching everyone else eat theirs.
Those flowers I bought myself were some of the best I ever got and not because they were the grandest. It was because I learned to appreciate myself. I learned to accept responsibility for my own ďfeel goods.Ē There is no shame in that. If you have a special someone in your life, that is a blessing. It is truly a treasure -- never to be taken for granted. However, in the ebb and flow of life, it is inevitable that we are all going to spend at least some part of it alone. The only person who stays with us from the time we are born until the day we die is our own self. Shouldn't we truly appreciate and make certain that person feels special, too?
© Regina Garson
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