Don't Take It To Heart

February 12, 2009
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Valentine's Day had never gotten any positive feedback from me. The day
the stores bring out the red ribbons and candy, my face is contorted
into a month-long expression of disgust.

For longer than I am consciously aware, I had harbored this
extreme hatred for it. And I truly did hate everything about this "day
of Love". I was always reluctant to pass out cards because I didn't
think anyone deserved them, or even wanted them to begin with. And, of
course, I was more than repulsed by the public displays of affection
that seemed to be displayed all around me. Seeing boys and girls
together evoked such an intense jealousy within me, and I didn't even
know why.
Two years elapse. It looks like I've finally come to grips with my
hatred. I have come to the realization that I'm probably not angry at
the holiday. My sour faces aren't really towards the loving couples,
the extravagant gifts or even the succulent candies; no, after many
years, I've found the cause of all of this external anger.
See, I used to take things very personally. So if someone skipped
my card or didn't like my gifts, I'd feel more rejection than I could
handle. Small things like that set me off, and often I'd just let that anger
sit inside of me. Anger unexpressed ended up mutating into this awful animosity.
So I spent a few years shooting menacing glares at affectionate couples and
making cutting comments about gifts people received.

My last straw came two years ago. A boy that I had really liked
spending time with invited me to the movies with him the Friday after
Valentine's Day. I, never having had a real valentine in my life,
blindly accepted, ecstatic at the thought of a date with this boy.
As with any true story of rejection, I am sure you know what
ensued. I arrived to the movie theater in my cutest outfit, new purse
in tow, and waited for a boy who never came.
The subsequent anger and hurt feelings have hung on ever since, and
until now I never owned up to it. But this time, I decided to learn

from the experience. I can get over things like that now. It isn't me
I should be upset with, so why should I suffer for someone else?s

poor behavior? When I only take responsibility for my part, it's
easy to let go of rejection. And there was a great reward. I don?t

scowl at the gift stores anymore, and sometimes I even smile
when I see a loving couple together. Wallowing in rejection used
to waste a lot of time. I had to learn this the hard way, but I'm
now very grateful for this experience.
This year, everyone gets a valentine's card,
and I won't have any hard feelings. Now that's love!

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