It's the most wonderful time of the year, unless you are out of love. If you feel alone in your relationship all the nostalgic songs playing, romantic movies on TV and family gatherings are salt on the huge heart wound that you are nursing. As you see couples snuggling and looking deeply into each other's eyes before embracing in a passionate kiss you can't help but wonder why this isn't happening to you. While nobody has the right to tell you how you should feel, I do want to offer a way to change your situation so you can love again.
The root of the matter is that you are looking for love in all the wrong places and it's not your fault. We have been well educated by books, movies, songs and friends that once you find that special someone they will love you 'till the end of time. And when they don't, or at least not in the way that we want/expect them to, our dreams get crushed and we find ourselves out of love. Then we struggle, fight, cheat or settle because life is life and that's the way it is. But it doesn't have to be!
Fact is that love is not external! The affection and closeness you desire cannot be found in the arms of another. Your expectations of the way you should be loved can never fully be met by your partner. It is an unfair burden that we place upon them and blame them when we don't get what we want. We give up control and become dependent on someone else to provide the love to us. Where in reality, it all starts with you! You have to love yourself!
Love comes from within! Of course we want others to appreciate us for who we are, but who we are changes drastically depending on whether we actually love and respect ourselves. If you love yourself, you understand yourself, what you want out of life and then build it around those principles. You won't be dependent on what someone thinks of you or does for you and that changes everything. By learning to love yourself you will become happier, let go of destructive patterns and finally get the relationship you always wanted. Your fights will cease as you will appreciate your partner not for who you need them to be but for who they actually are. And in case who they actually are is not who you want, then your love for yourself will afford you the strength to find someone who is.
If you aren't sure how to start loving yourself here are a few suggestions:
• Look at yourself in the mirror, right into your eyes and say out loud" I love you." It may be hard and there might be lots of emotion that will come out and that's OK. Go with it and just keep saying "I love you" each time you look at yourself in the mirror (say it in your mind if you are at work and don't want others staring).
• Write down a list of all the things you LOVE about yourself and read it when you awake and before you go to bed.
• Make another list of all the things you LOVE TO DO and do at least one of those things you every single day. It could be reading, painting, running, chatting with your BFF, meditating, etc., just pick one and make sure to do it.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year if you let it and my sincere hope is that you do. Fill your 2015 and beyond with love. Love yourself first and the rest will follow!