It’s Only Love: The Grinch of Valentine’s Day

It's Only Love with Celina Flores

Dear Celina,

As someone who’s been through abuse at the hands of a lover I wonder how you can still believe in love and want to trust people? I know that eventually we move past it but the memory doesn’t ever really go away. What makes it possible for you to have a positive outlook on dating, sex and love after being hurt?

I think it’s important for me to begin by stating that your well-being comes before anything and everything. Dating can and should wait, if that’s how you feel, and whether it takes weeks or years for you to feel comfortable with people again that’s fine. I can only speak for myself when I say this but I also think it’s important to remind you that we can’t and shouldn’t live our lives in a manner that let’s the person who hurt us “win”, so to speak. I actually hate when people say that to me. There isn’t really a winner, in my opinion, just two people who’ve been through something extremely shitty. Because whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of abuse you are no better or worse off. Do you get what I mean? A person who has succeeded in hurting you isn’t more powerful than you. They don’t get a trophy or a blue ribbon declaring them stronger or better than you. You are not forever branded as weak or damaged. There isn’t anything to gain except, hopefully, growth and higher awareness.

I believe in love because it’s the most beautiful thing we have. Not just love between lovers, but love in general. Is there anything better than knowing people care for you unconditionally and will be there when you need them? Is there anything more satisfying than knowing you have the capacity to be that person for somebody else? I’m generally a pessimist, I really need to see things to believe them. I question everything and am relentless in my quest to get to the bottom of how life works.

dalai lama

I’ve seen what love does. I’ve felt how it can change everything in the blink of an eye. The Dalai Lama said, “Our own survival is so dependent on the help of others that a need for love lies at the very core of our existence”, and I completely agree. Nobody gets through life alone. So, I guess I believe in love because I need to survive.

If you let one persons actions dictate the way you spend the rest of the moments you have left, I can only imagine that you will have regrets. If you allow your idea of love to be warped by something that was clearly not love, that’s just unfair. First and foremost, to yourself, but it’s also an injustice to the rest of the world because they’re missing out on something great: you.

I’m basically like The Grinch on Christmas Day. My heart’s three sizes too big and as much as I want to deny it so that I can seem cool, calm and collected, everyone knows it’s a lie. In many ways I feel that it’s from being hurt so many times that I developed this need to love and be loved. Trauma is not the same for everyone, though, and I know that first hand. Just take some time to love yourself. I don’t know what that would entail for you but just be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with good people, allow them to love you and allow yourself to believe you deserve it. And then, when you’re comfortable enough to do so, give it back. I think you will see that when there’s reciprocity and respect it’s less of a game and there are actually more winners than one. If you end up needing extra help, such as seeing a therapist, there’s nothing wrong with that either. It has personally helped me. I also love meditation. Just find whatever speaks to your mind, body and soul.

Although Valentine’s Day kind of makes me want to barf because I feel it has lost all meaning, if it ever even had meaning to begin with, it does happen to be around the corner and I’d like to challenge you to go on a date. Really, just go. Go on a date with your mom, by yourself, whatever. Buy yourself nice things, splurge on a nice dinner and at the end of the day look at yourself in the mirror and say, I LOVE YOU. And then say, why did I even ask that cheeseball for advice? I’m good!

Hurt people hurt people, but we get to choose whether it makes us bitter or better. Break the cycle.

**I actually have a date and, presumably, a Valentine, so that should be interesting. Stay tuned and take care!

About Celina Flores

Celina is a born-and-raised Montrealer who is on the never ending pursuit of happiness. She is a pop culture enthusiast, generator of lame puns and a big believer in love. More Posts