The Inner Bottom Line ®
A Column on Personal Choices & Ethical Dilemmas by Olive Gallagher
If you are a part of any culture that celebrates St. Valentine’s Day in one form or another http://is.gd/XTOvYV, this is a question as old as time. It’s one that most of us, in some secret part of our heart, dreams of being asked for real at least once in our life.
And it’s one that’s going to be echoed over and over again during the next few days - on the air, in social media, and on the street. http://is.gd/GwWz2t Along with advice about what to give your loved one, what to wear for that special night, where to dine or dance, what to say in a special card or message to let him or her know how you really feel. Do you take the risk, show your cards, toss the dice - all of these choices are alive and buzzing around us right now.
Being a hopeless romantic, no matter how hard the pragmatic part of my brain argues against the commercialism that has overtaken this quaint and sometimes violent date, the dreamy adolescent girl in me that never disappears can’t help but reminisce about loves lost or chances gone and at the same time, entertain a tiny kernel of hope, buried way down deep, that love might still revisit my life again.
But the moment that suggestion surfaces, the practical part of my heart scoffs and huffs away, cynical, even bitter, and put off at the idea that anyone grown up could still be foolish or immature enough to think that someone would or could or should belong to anyone else on any day of the year.
What exactly does “be mine” mean, anyhow? That someone would own or possess you; your heart, your thoughts, your being? Sadly, in too many dysfunctional relationships or marriages, whether admitted to or not, that pseudo-reality does exist, particularly for women. And I get it. Believe me, I do. I’ve bought that promise before. The desire and need to belong to someone else within an all-encompassing appetite and love - the idea of it can very seductive. After all, aren’t we bombarded with images and words that depict exactly that kind of love and romance in literature, opera, music, and film everyday?
And yet beyond the flowers and chocolates and lingerie that are bought and gifted every February 14th, there is also another notion attached to the question, implying commitment and loyalty and genuine intimacy and love. Values and essentials that most of us want to give and receive in our lifetime. And that’s quite a bit more challenging because it’s the foundation of a quality relationship, comprised of integrity, honesty fairness and respect. And found on The Inner Bottom Line.
And so, in a few days, as all the festivities begin, there will be many of us who will try to avoid thinking about what’s going on because there’s no one special to remember us and ask us that burning question. And those already in a relationship that is in attrition or already DOA? That’s even worse, for whether we admit it to others or ourselves, that truly hurts, bringing a painful reminder that we (still) feel unwanted, undesired, unappreciated, even unseen, even though it appears we have everything we could want.
The sense of invisibility can deliver one of the most abusive and damaging blows that an already insecure, vulnerable and lonely soul can experience. The feeling that there’s nobody there to even notice that nobody remembered or asked you the question.
On The Inner Bottom Line, you’re free and safe to answer the primary question. “Do I want to be mine?” For in the end, that’s were it must begin. You can’t start to give or share any part of yourself with anyone else until you belong fully, happily, warts and all, to yourself.
No matter what anyone else thinks or tells you, either by not noticing you, forgetting you, teasing you or insulting you, only what you tell yourself - about your worth, your specialness, your uniqueness, your gifts - is what truly matters. This Valentine’s Day might be a good time to start.
You can submit your questions, book consulting appointments or private phone coaching sessions with Olive at www.theinnerbottomline.com, and call into her blogtalkradio.com show, “The Inner Bottom Line” at 661-449-1425 with your questions. All letters and calls can be anonymous and confidential.
Kindle and audio versions along with the hard cover of Olive’s book, The Nude Ethicist: A Simple Path to The Good Life™, are now available on amazon.com.