Tag Archives: Love

Liberating Valentine’s Day

from being a “Couples Only” Holiday

Valentines Day Hearts in a HeartWho says Valentine’s Day has to be just for couples? I loved Valentine’s Day as a child because everyone gave everyone else a Valentine’s Day card and there was just a tantalizing possibility of a flirtation. Why not make Valentine’s Day a day of celebrating love in all forms? Even, if one is in a partner relationship, the “ship” just might not be in the best “shape” on February 14. With all of the above in mind, I made a list of suggestions to make Valentine’s Day Happier for Everyone.

1. It’s a great day to love yourself better.
2. Make a list of positive things that people have said about you (and keep it for future reference and to make additions).
3. Pamper yourself. Schedule a massage, Reiki session, or spa visit.
4. Make a list of 5 things that you enjoy doing, but routinely deny yourself. Then do as many as you can fit in on that day.
5. Engage in a creative activity: draw, paint, sew, build something, sing, play music…
6. If single and looking, send a Happy Valentine’s Day wish to the people that you have been admiring on the Internet.
7. Contact people who have touched your heart and wish them a lovely day and share something that you have appreciated about them.
8. Gather your single friends together and have a dinner. On one of my more memorable Valentine’s days, one of my female friends reserved a room at a nice sushi restaurant for her female friends and asked us to bring something to read on the subject of love.
9. Do something unconventional, like go for a hike with your partner or with friends, to break through the expectations surrounding V-day.
10. If you have specific wishes, discuss them ahead of time and make plans. Waiting too late invites disappointment. It is almost impossible to get reservations at a decent restaurant the day before, much less on, Valentine’s Day.
11. If you are breaking up or have broken up with someone who is abusive to you or who is not good for you, you risk reopening the door by sending a Valentine’s day greeting. If they are dangerous to you, consider the words of my friend Jim McGregor, who wrote in “I Love You Enough to Let You Go” (a pamphlet on recovering from codependency), “I love you enough to never see you again.”
12. Consider make it an ecologically friendly holiday. I found a lot of sites just by searching “green Valentine’s Day.”
13. Make room for practicing random acts of kindness on Valentine’s Day.
14. If the whole idea of Valentine’s Day annoys you, consider volunteering. The earth and the people on it need a lot of  love.

Sometimes, it is not possible to have a Happy Valentine’s Day, so give yourself permission to have a day of solace, and cry, if it helps.

© 2009-2013 Noreen Wedman

Reclaiming Positive Emotions

Reclaiming Yourself through Reclaiming Positive Emotional States

Focusing on any positive feeling state helps shifts the Focus on the Negative that tends to be a legacy from highly stressed family systems (with addicted, emotionally abusive, and/or mentally ill parents). When focusing on the negative becomes a habit over time, we can lose touch with what it is like to feel okay in our own bodies. You can reverse this habit by spending some time each day focusing on some positive emotional state by remembering times you felt that emotion.*

Since we tend to experience feelings that we most recently felt, making a conscious effort to remember a feeling state will increase the likelihood that you will experience this emotion again soon. This habit will create a self-fulfilling prophesy effect that is positive because it subconsciously shifts behaviors. The first time I tried this experiment for myself, I felt the stresses of life were crowding out feeling loving and being loved, so I retrieved memories of different types of love with different people. The next day I found that more people were smiling at me. Then I realized that I had been smiling more than usual, so of course, more people were smiling back!

Are you willing to try the experiment? What emotion haven’t you felt in a while or what emotion would you like to feel more frequently? Even if you can only imagine glimpses of this emotional state, that is sufficient. Spend at least 5 minutes or more in solitude remembering what it is like to feel this feeling. Actively pull up a memory or memories of feeling this emotion. I think that just before sleeping is a good time for the positive feelings to be “incubated.” Keep repeating this experiment until you have ready access to this emotion as appropriate, i.e. courage when you need courage, serenity when engaged in your daily routines, joy in response to life’s splendors, etc.

*Note that this exercise is not meant to be used as a substitute for experiencing painful feeling in response to painful events – the goal is ready access to all your feelings as needed. For more tips on Healing from Emotionally Abusive Relationships, order the workbook: http://toolkitforhealing.com.

©Noreen Wedman 2011