I love you because I am able to love me!
Updated: May 30, 2021
I originally posted this blog on February 14, 2016 but I figured it was time for a little update, so here we go . . .
Ah, Valentine's Day . . . and love is in the air. Do you ever think about the connection between the love in your relationship and the love for yourself? I honestly believe that you can’t truly, 100% love others if you don’t love yourself first! I’m going to be brutally honest – marriage is NOT all roses and unicorns; however, that would be really awesome. Marriage is hard. Marriage takes work, it takes energy, and it takes true grit! Some days (weeks, years) are amazing, and some days it just sucks! I thought at twenty I was going to marry my first love. It didn’t happen. I thought by 25 I’d find another. It didn’t happen. It wasn’t until I was 30 that I met my now husband when the stars aligned. We became friends in 1998 (super long Jerry Springerish story that I'll save for another time), but never pursued anything romantic. It was until a few years later that John called me out of the blue and asked me to go to the beach with him. That was August 11, 2000 and we haven’t been apart since.
I’d be lying if I said our marriage is perfect. We’ve had our fair share of rough days ~ actually we’ve had our fair share of rough years.
When I look back at the times where we struggled the most I see one connection – I was unhappy with myself. You know the saying Happy Wife Happy Life ~ there's something to that. When I was at my lowest I was not invested – I was not invested in my work, my kids, my relationship. I basically abandoned my husband. I was not working at our marriage, I was just expecting the marriage to work.
We’ve never said the word DIVORCE aloud, but I know there were days that I wondered what it would be like if I just walked away and didn’t return. I'm sure he felt the same. When I think back on those dark days I feel so sad for that girl. I feel sad that she never asked for help, she never tried to figure out what was truly wrong – she just blamed everything/everyone else. She drank too much, slept too much, and completely shut down.
She had given up on herself. She had lost her identity, her value, the love for herself. Why am I telling you all this? Because that girl has learned so much about herself over the last few years. No longer are her days dark. No longer does she push the blame off. She has learned to create her own happiness ~ to investing in herself.
2015 was probably one of the best years we’ve had in our marriage. There were so many factors, but for the first time in a very long time that girl felt her purpose. That girl had passion and fire, and that girl was 100% invested in her life. I hear the excuse “I’m too busy.” I hear “I have kids, I don’t have the time.” I hear “I just can’t spend that amount on myself.” Ask yourself – What is your happiness worth? What is your marriage worth? It’s 30 minutes a day to clear your mind. To make yourself a priority. The payoff is so much more than just fitting into a smaller size. The payoff seeps into relationships, into friendships, into your everyday life.
Since pouring back into ME, I’m happier with myself. I have energy. Not just energy to play with my kids, but also mental energy. Energy for me to focus on making myself a better person. Energy to put into my marriage and to build up the friendship that was once lost.
1st Corinthians 13:4-7 ~ Can you imagine? What a list, right? Picture the potential of a relationship where both partners are kind and patient. Never rude, boastful, or jealous. A partnership in every sense of the word. A relationship where hurt feelings don’t linger and past mistakes are forgiven and forgotten. [Ladies, sometimes you just have to Let it Go!] Where truth is the norm and honesty is never risky. A stress-free, safe haven to love, to grow, and to give. Eros love ~ the romantic type of love that God created for a couple to share in. So if you find that this Valentine’s Day is not as celebratory as you would like it to be – start looking deeper. Are you truly happy? Are you spending enough time making yourself happy? Don’t worry about making others happy. Take time to invest in yourself – then everything will begin to fall into place.
February 14, 2021
Well here we are some 5 years later and I'm proud to say that we are still living our best lives.
Here's what I can tell you - I still make time for me. I make time to move my body, I make time to laugh with my girlfriends, I make time to chase my dreams, and I spend my energy on things that fill my cup. But I also make sure that John is given his own "me time" because his cup is just as important!!
By no means have we had the luxury to stop "working" on our marriage, I feel we actually work harder.
Our kiddos are getting older, we have two living at home but our son will be leaving for the military this summer leaving only our youngest. Before we know it, we're going to be empty nesters. No longer will our daily routines be dictated by our children's schedules, giving us more time to just be a couple. And honestly, that can be a little scary . . . a little intimidating.
Unfortunately that new found freedom doesn't always turn out to be a blessing if you have forgotten what it means to be a couple not just parents.
As you get older, things change. Your dreams change, your body changes, your interest change and it's important you are communicating with your partner these changes you are experiencing.
It's not always easy to be open about my fears, about my new midlife body, or about my needs, but I can't expect him to be on the same page with me if I don't even tell him the title of the book.
So again I say if you find that this Valentine’s Day is not as celebratory as you would like it to be – start by looking in the mirror. Start with YOU! Are you truly happy? Are you spending enough time making yourself happy? Are you filling your own cup and not waiting for someone else to do it for you?
Take time to invest in yourself – then you will be able to really pour into those you love!
Check out the original blog post here