Tragedy causes hurt, misery, depression. My tragedy seemed never-ending and on-going, looming over me ominously. I don’t know what’s gotten into me today, but I definitely like the change of attitude. I’ve been in a funk for a long time, and by that I mean years, not months. It happened after a personal crisis, and for the life of me I couldn’t shake it. I was having a hard time coping and moving on. I questioned my belief in God, and wondered how the world could be so cruel.
Today, I stopped feeling the pressure. Maybe it has something to do with Valentine’s Day. That’s an odd realization to me. Usually I hate Valentine’s Day because it brings back bad memories of a time when I would sit at home waiting on a call from an elusive boyfriend that never cared to say I love you, let alone take me on a Valentine’s Day date. He hated buying gifts, and would rarely show me adoration, especially when he felt forced to because of a national holiday.
I always knew what type of person he was, but I never allowed myself to see the bigger picture. I was meant to be with him, even though he was abusive. I convinced myself he would change, that he loved me, and we could make it work. I lost the person I was before I entered this relationship. When he dug his claws into me and brainwashed me into believing I was worthless, I began to think he was the only person who could ever love me. I lost the girl I was. She was full of aspirations, love, focus and spirit.
She retreated within herself and molded herself to appear shy, quiet and even a bit aloof. She always thought that people would judge her the way he did. She thought by being outgoing and fun-loving, people would hate her like he did. She thought they would easily get annoyed with her and leave her. She always felt pressured, judged and uncomfortable.
I don’t know what it is about today. Maybe it’s knowing that I’ll never, ever have to spend another Valentine’s Day waiting on a man. Maybe the girl I used to be is resurfacing. She was confident, independent and bold. I don’t know how I found her, but she’s back. It makes me wonder what brought her out from the stark, gloomy environment she’d been hiding in. Is it that I’ve accepted what happened to her and forgiven him for being so uncaring? Is it that I’ve realized that none of it was God’s fault and that because we have free will sometimes life just sucks? Possibly.
Maybe, just maybe, she’s willing to start living again. Has she finally stopped living her life on autopilot? Does she finally realize that she never has to see him again, or if she does, will the thought of being forced to be in a room with him still haunt her? The truth about my past is ominous, and flat out scary. However, I know that dealing with the repercussions of it is almost over. Maybe by realizing this part of my life is coming to a close, I’ve started to feel like it’s all going to be okay, and that bold girl feels safe enough to show herself again.
I feel like the idea of starting fresh is growing on her. She wants to start a new life with new people in a completely different place. Maybe she’s finally able to accept the fact that she’s graduating and making a name for herself… without him. The best part about all of it is that she’s discovering herself again. As for me, I’m starting to remember who she was. Who I used to be, who I am and who I’m going to be all have a place in my life.
I think I’m beginning to accept the fact that loving someone does not always mean that they have to return the love. I think I’m willing to start giving back to a world hurt by hatred, selfishness and greed. I think I’m willing to fight for the victims of the world’s evils and give them a sense of hope. Maybe I’m even willing to fight for the good still left in the people who choose to inflict this evil.
How will I approach this? Honestly, I’m not quite sure yet. I have no set plan of action. But I do know that random acts of kindness would be a good start. I know that I want to make everyone feel loved, significant and treasured. Most people don’t realize how beautiful and inspiring they are. Everyone has a story, and if they’re willing to tell it, I’m willing to listen and learn. Some people think that their stories don’t have purpose.
I’m here to tell you that type of thinking is absolutely inaccurate. Everyone’s story has worth, or there would be no story, no life at all. Every single person is significant. This is one reason why I think people moping on Valentine’s Day should start looking up. Get happy! There are people who love you! I used to be one of the holiday’s haters. “Happy Singles Awareness Day!” I’d chant with the rest, mocking my own failure at love. But, who says that this holiday is meant to be about romance?
What if we used it to spread happiness and joy to those who need it most? I believe it’s meant to be a symbol of our love for each other. Just because greeting card companies and Hollywood has made it into a romantic holiday, doesn’t mean that everyone has to view it that way. We should celebrate the lives of those who influence us, and let them know how much we care for and appreciate them. That’s what this holiday is all about.
It’s for recognizing the importance of loving everyone, even if they seem unlovable. There’s my hippie coming out again. “Make love, not war.” “Spread love, not your legs.” Okay, I think I may have crossed a line with that one.
Today gives us a chance to change the perception we have of ourselves, and the ones we have of others. Do something to make someone smile today. There are way too many people focusing on the fact that they’re single. They could definitely use some cheering up. Make it happen. Pay it forward and spread your random act of kindness today.
Make it a challenge. Why stop after Valentine’s Day? Why not make it every day?
People deserve love. We all crave it; we all need it. So spread the joy. Give something back.
Like the famous saying goes, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”