Open to Love

It is Valentine’s Day, and it is the first time in over 20 years that I don’t have a Valentine. By that I mean in the traditional sense of a man being my Valentine. This time last year I had just started dating after my divorce, and the man I was dating took me out for Valentines. We went to dinner and a comedy club. He was a nice guy, but I remember that he didn’t kiss me good night and that made me feel undesirable and confused. Who doesn’t kiss on Valentines Day?

The years before that I was married, and sometimes we would celebrate it, sometimes we wouldn’t. Mostly it was me organizing something if we did celebrate, especially towards the end of our relationship. So, Valentine’s was stressful for me because I never knew if my Ex husband was going to do anything for me, or if it was just going to be an awkward dinner of staring at each other.

This year until a few days ago, I forgot that Valentine’s was this weekend! Which I can’t believe. I have been so focussed on my meditation practice, yoga and healing myself that I didn’t even think about it. Every morning of last week I woke up at 5:15AM and did power yoga, then I did I sound bath with my Tibetan bowl, and meditated. Doing this really brought me inside my body, and I learned that I have a lot of anxiety inside. When I am still sometimes I feel a sense of dread and I don’t really know where that is coming from. It scares me. This is why I could never meditate in the past. What am I anxious about? And what am I dreading?

My focus has solely been on trying to wake up by 5:00 AM and explore these feelings that Valentine’s wasn’t even a thought. But once I realized it, and saw my friends on Instagram that aren’t in a relationship giving themselves gifts, I decided to give my bathroom a makeover as a gift to myself. I painted the walls pink, got a pink rug, all new towels, shower curtain, and reorganized all the drawers and cupboards. I spend more time in the bathroom then I would on a date with someone so it makes more sense to invest my energy there.

It gave me something to focus on, and now that it is done it makes me smile every time I see my new pink little bathroom. I don’t feel sad about not being in a relationship, I feel like for the first time in a really long time I am putting me first. Instead of stressing if someone likes me or not, I am concentrating on liking myself. And trying to be kind to myself as I delve into the feelings that come up for me when I meditate.

When I meditate, I started noticing that my upper stomach has kind of been a little achey and sore and I looked up to see what chakra that is. It is the solar plexus, and that chakra acts as the center of personal power. It is responsible for personality, ego, and identity, as well as personal freedom, choice, and authenticity. So, it is my personal identity that is transforming when I do yoga and meditation. I can feel it happening and it doesn’t feel good. But it makes sense that it has to transform, because for 20 years most of my personal identity was tied to being a wife and a mother. My personal identity was my family, and there was a part of me that held so tightly on to that identity, and didn’t want to give it up.

I will always be a mother to my daughter, that will never change. But I am no longer a wife. We are no longer that traditional family unit, but my daughter is my family. I am letting my old identity go, and it hurts. And it is scary, because I don’t know what my new identity is yet.

I moved to Los Angeles in November 2019, and that was the last time I saw my Ex-husband. So, it has been over a year. The weird thing is, it is not until these past few weeks that I have really started to make a home here. Before that it seemed temporary, and I had a feeling I was going to have to get on a plane and go back to Oregon. I felt like I was on vacation, and I still identified with who I used to be.

I am in a transition. I am no longer the person that I was, and I know I need to go deeper to uncover who I will be. I resisted meditating for a long time, but there was a part of me that knew that my energy or my ‘power’ was muted, and that something was blocking it. My new sense of self is not fully developed. I feel like I have been pushed into a swimming pool, and now I have to learn to swim. But I feel awkward and uncoordinated. I am cold and scared.

I am starting to realize that last year I was trying to find my identity outside myself. I certainly didn’t know that at the time, but I did start to feel a strong sense of confusion in the fall. I had no idea what I wanted, and one of the last dates I went on I spent the entire evening telling him that I was confused and didn’t know why I was even there. I felt like I was playing a part, smiling and talking, but my heart wasn’t in it.

At first I thought it was because I was developing feelings for one of the guys I had been seeing. And of course I picked the elusive, mysterious and good-looking man to develop feelings for. The more elusive he was, the more I couldn’t get him off my mind. When I saw him he brought out a feeling in me I hadn’t felt in years! It was like a magnetic field of energy for me when I was with him. This experience excited but also scared me. It made me realize that there is so much more depth to me that I can explore with someone, and on my own. I realized also, that I am not strong enough to share myself yet emotionally. It was too scary and unsettling for me to have those feelings.

So, I got off all the dating apps in December. I decided to make the month of December all about me, but that time has now stretched to mid-February as I feel like I am just scratching the surface of getting to know myself again. I am feeling calmer and I am not judging myself as harshly as I used to. I am trying to be a good friend to myself, and let myself take the time to heal. It has been good practice for me to set my boundaries on my time, even if it is just to read a book rather than taking the energy go out and meet up with someone. I have spent the last 5 years of my life putting myself out in the world by joining meet-ups, doing my art shows, meeting all new co-workers when I moved to LA, and all the dates I went on and conversations I had with new people. I feel like I need to regroup, and use my energy to decide what I want to focus on, and what I want my future to look like.

So, this Valentine I am my own Valentine, and I am making myself feel loved by treating myself well, and being open to feel the love from my daughter (who by the way said she would be my Valentine), and all my friends. Instead of searching for love as I have in the past, I am open to receive love and really that is what it is all about. Happy Valentine’s Day!