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My marriage ended on Valentine’s Day, and to this day, it breaks my heart.
There have been other positive celebrations with other partners and solo celebrations since, and still, the day stings.
Well, it more than stings. It brings me back to a place I do not like to visit—my past.
When a holiday is a marker for grief and trauma, there is no escape from the triggers. Awareness of and acceptance of these triggers can help.
Being prepared for the triggers is another skill. Self-care and downtime are needed. This trigger of this date can build from days to weeks, up to the actual day. Memories might flood or flash while driving, shopping, or on a phone call with a friend.
On the actual date, I do not want surprises. Instead, I desire a peaceful, quiet day and a night with some built-in exercise. Yoga or Tai Chi help to relax and ease tension.
On this date, I do not desire gifts, cards, or wooing. Instead, I yearn and really just want the day to pass if I am really honest.
This day might be a difficult one for you too, especially if you are newly single or, in my case, triggered by events of the past. Grief, loss, and pain can make celebrating such days more than challenging. Being open about this first with yourself and then with others is a start.
When your heart hurts, hold on tight and fast as the waves will rise and crash. Ground yourself in this moment. Orientate through mindfulness and somatic exercises. Sing, dance, and create. Celebrate your own gracious heart, for it keeps beating. Celebrate the joy that is you.
Darlings, become your own mantra of self-love. When we are ready, this open heart expands.
If you find yourself hurting this Valentine’s Day, know you are not alone and reach out.
You are love and bliss, dear ones.