Selma woke up early in the morning excited about the day and was looking forward to spending special time with her husband. She wanted the day to be very special particularly that her children are now grown-ups and have left the nest to live their own lives. Today was not only special because it was Valentine’s Day, but it was even more special because it marks her 40th wedding anniversary to her high school sweetheart. She even took the day off work to celebrate this special occasion with her husband of 40 years.

She started cleaning the house, cooked a special meal, and waited for her husband to give her a call to wish her a Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy 40th anniversary. She put on her favorite cute dress, applied some makeup, and tied her hair to the back in a way that showed hair gorgeous skin and her beautiful face. She prepared a cup of tea and sat in the living room staring at her phone and listening to the wall clock ticking in this vast silent space. With every tick-tock, her heart skipped a beat waiting for the phone call.  With the exception of one of her children sending her a red rose image in a text message wishing her a Happy Valentine’s day, and another child sending her a picture of his children making heart gestures, her phone was quiet most of the time.

As time passed by, she sunk more and more in the armchair. She took a sip of her tea and went back in memory to the days when she was running around like crazy between work, children schools and activities, housework, and supporting her husband in his business. She remembered the day when she lost her mind when she was told that her husband was diagnosed with a rare disease that would take a long time to recover from. She saw herself sitting in a chair in the hospital waiting for him to wake up from his coma and praying to God to bring him back to her and their children. She had to quit her job and sell the business in order for her to look after her husband 24/7. God answered her prayers and after several years of suffering her husband eventually recovered completely from his illness. This was their first Valentine’s Day after his recovery and she had great hopes of celebrating it in a special way after all the years of suffering and sickness where they could not celebrate it together.

She was awakened from her daydreaming with the loud noise of the clock indicating it was midnight. She looked around only to see that she was alone in the room. She thought to herself all these years I sacrificed myself to others and I totally forgot about myself in the process of giving. I loved everyone around me except myself. When I became a mother and a wife, I gave myself away to the marriage altar forgetting in the process that I am also God’s creation and I needed to nurture and love myself the way I nurtured and loved everyone else. Selma thought to herself it is never too late to start loving myself and be my own Valentine’s Date. Rather than looking for love outside of myself, I will start looking for it on the inside because I am worth it and I deserve it. The river of love originates on the inside, irrigates one’s soul, and then overflows to others around us. There is plenty of love to go around but it all starts with oneself. At that thought, she opened her eyes only to see her husband sitting next to her trying to apologize for not calling her to wish her a Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Anniversary. She gave him a look full of love and said to him “that is fine. I was my own Valentine.”

It is my turn now to ask you when was the last time that you loved yourself? When was the last time that you spent five minutes with yourself? And when was the last time you did something you love? Leave a comment telling us how you plan on nourishing your inner river of love. Happy Valentine’s Day to all the amazing souls out there.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Raja Mishal, Ph.D.

Transformational Author & Speaker

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