This sweet day of love has an enemy.
I know because I’ve invited it to come out and spoil my birthday, weekends, Mother’s Day, and especially Valentine’s Day.
What is the enemy of Valentine’s Day?
What is it that can totally ruin your Day of Love?
That’s right ladies, the enemy of Valentine’s Day exists solely in our heads. And we invite it into our days the moment we open up social media.
How do I know this? Because I’m #1 at comparisons.
Every time a special event comes around (or even not–apparently there are husbands who buy flowers for “no reason at all”), I open up any social media app to be bombarded by displays of love and devotion from husbands, family members, friends.
And instead of feeling joy and happiness for the recipients of these loving displays I immediately think, “My husband didn’t do that…”
So then let’s go down that rabbit trail.
My husband didn’t _______________ (get me flowers / buy me jewelry / surprise me with a getaway).
I can’t believe he didn’t do this for me.
Don’t I deserve this?
He must not care that much about me.
And I assume he doesn’t love or care for me because he didn’t do EXACTLY what my friend’s husband did.
The problem is I’ve now become SO twisted up in my comparisons I can’t even see the surface where I began digging.
I’ve effectively ruined many a holiday because I sat seething in expectations that were never expressed.
So I’m here to tell how to NOT ruin your Valentine’s Day.
Avoid Social Media
I used to go the avoiding social media route. But it’s 2017. And also my job kind of depends on it, so I’m on there daily. But when I used to avoid it, I really did have a beautiful day. I had no idea what others were doing…and it was easy to keep comparison out of my day when all I had was the thoughtful card my husband wrote for me. Because sometimes that card was the only thing I needed. Not the surprise weekend getaway or the flowers. I just needed encouragement. Yet I know my brain would have convinced me otherwise had I let the comparison enemy enter my day.
This is my new take on Valentine’s Day this year. I’ve found it easy (especially since having kids) to be mean to my husband. I’ve found it easy to be jealous of friends’ days or relationships. This year, I’ll go on Facebook or Instagram. I might pray a little “help me have a joyful heart” prayer, but I’ll go on and be kind. I’ll celebrate the displays of adoration and love from husband to wife. I’ll tap the heart and maybe even comment with more hearts when I see thoughtful gifts or expressions of love.
But more so, I’ll be kind to my husband and myself. A few years ago I told him, “Just get me a card. I don’t care about a gift (okay that was a lie), but if you’ll just always have a card for me with something thoughtful inside…that’s enough.” And you know what?
It is. For me.
I’m one who needs encouragement and words of affirmation. (Especially now as a mother)
So every Valentine’s Day (or birthday or Mother’s Day), I know I’ll have a card. And I’ll hug and kiss him because this is what I wanted–him.
This doesn’t mean comparison will never creep back into my holidays; I’m human, so obviously I’ll struggle with this again soon. However, knowing how my brain operates…I’ll intentionally look out for these thoughts of comparison before they totally steal my joy.