Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Yes, unlike many around the globe, by the grace of God, I actually survived yet another one unscathed. I even dare to go so far as to say I actually thrived for the first time ever. I say this partly in jest and partially with the seriousness of the most upstanding librarian.
Valentine’s Day 2016 goes down in my books as a great one. Not for the reasons one would typically suspect. No travel plans. I didn’t get proposed to. I didn’t get a dozen roses or even a dinner or movie date request. Yet somehow, I received and appreciated all the love that was shown to me this past weekend in a new way. It was a bit of an awakening to love that I want to share with you to day and encourage you and yours to experience today and every day moving forward with a newly found outlook possibly for you and yours on Valentine’s Day 2017 and beyond.
I did receive lots of wonderful social media well wishes from followers, hugs in person, a red carnation from a business, a box of chocolates, some Hershey’s kisses, a special text and call, plus other texts, calls and etc. Someone even made and brought me brownies, and I even got a few other very pleasant surprises. Because my focus is now different, this Valentine’s Day was a different experience altogether for the first time in a long time. I have finally learned to love with ease and receive with peace. I absorbed the love in everything and appreciated every little thing. I thanked God for EVERYTHING as they came – whenever they came – however they came. The most valuable gifts I received over the Valentine’s Day weekend was actually time from people I cared about the most- which is priceless.
Make no mistake: I will honestly, and truly cherish the day when I will finally remarry. That will be the day when I can say I not only received the commitment from a faithful and sincere man I know I deserve, but I actually got the engagement and wedding ring I deserved that most women take for granted to go along with it. I know, that was a loaded statement — definitely a conversation for another time. Moreover, well before February comes I’ll already know that I officially have more than just a “Valentine” or as my beautiful tween daughter schooled me earlier this month, a “Beau-thang”, which is a another conversation for yet another time.
My husband will be all that and more, of course. Seriously, I joke often about how I’m really not cut out for this “single life” though I have learned to manage very well under all circumstances – my ex-husband, the few ex-boyfriends I can count on one hand and all. The “backstory” if you will, can be found in my book released last Valentine’s Day on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online, entitled #LiveLOVEdaily. I do much better these days than in times before for so many reasons. So, begs the question: “Toy, what in the world did you do on your Valentine’s Days before now?” I’m glad you asked!
If I didn’t have a date, I’d always have my “back-up” date with my Daddy until two years ago when he passed and he was no longer around to keep his end of our deal that if I didn’t have anyone to talk to or go out with I’d always be able to spend time with and talk to him. Yes, I realize that is a very selfish way to have looked at it, but this is a post chock full of transparency to help you #IGNITEyourLife, so thank you in advance for not judging me. That was the Daddy’s Girl inside me whining. The grown woman within was still mourning the loss. That feeling waxes and wanes, but the memories of the good times override those moments more so than not. Grieving is a process and I’m still growing day by day.
The funny thing is that the issue was never really what I’d do on Valentine’s Day. It’s what I used to do months before Valentine’s Day every year for at least two decades that was the most damaging to myself more than anyone. I had created this endless cycle of high expectations and subsequent let downs leading up to Valentine’s Day. Alpha Females do not like to be out of the loop or without control of situations involving them. That’s what makes us great leaders. We keep our hands on the pulse of everything to help create consistent and sustainable results.
In our love lives, we forget that the only thing we can control in personal relationships is our own behavior and our own reactions to the environments around us. You can’t fault us, really. After managing everything else and everyone else in our lives, it’s only learned behavior to think we can steer or have any type of sphere of influence in the course of our personal relationships. We really don’t mean to be this way. We just know what we want and how we want to be treated and even loved to varied degrees.
It takes a strong man to pull the reins on us. A very special man. Believe me. Yet first, the reality remains that we must learn to pull the rein on ourselves and recognize how to surrender to love itself, which is God – who is ultimately in control of everything. I have come to learn that this is when love is truly experienced in its fullness.
Based on my collective Valentine’s Day experiences which could be a book in and of itself, I’ve also learned that I’d rather be with someone who remembers me on a regular basis and gives of himself, and his time and loves me consistently than to do one “huge” thing for me on Valentine’s Day and nothing else the rest of the year. To each their own, but as for me, I’d like to be remembered often and consistently create memories together that will last a lifetime…
For those who are clueless on the Alpha Female reference: So what is an “Alpha Female?”, you ask. This graphic summarizes it very well:
I finally retired from trying to have any say in what happens on Valentine’s Day or any given day in my relationships. I just give love to those who choose to be in my life, whether it’s loving conversation or just a simple gesture of kindness. My motto now is “just surprise me with good surprises” – please. I have grown to #appreciate the love I receive on a regular basis rather than to put all of my #hope for #love validation in one day of the year or just on #holidays. As you can tell, I’ve come a long way, believe me. LOL – Whitney Houston sang it best: The greatest love of all is the love inside of me. Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. I have learned to love myself again and in the process have become more open to receiving love in unlimited ways and in abundance.
Instead of trying to micromanage what would happen on yesterday, I woke up with a blank canvas and let God fill it up and paint whatever picture He wanted me to have. Anything I received on this past #Valentine‘s Day was like an accessory. #Great to have if it comes. I’m most #grateful for love I receive all the #time and great#surprises from the #heart when I least expect it. That’s what #life is all about. #reallife Maximizing every moment. You truly get exactly what you focus on. Focus on love. Scripturally speaking, God’s word says seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything will added unto you. I have known that scripture all of my life, but now I actually live it and am a living testimony of it. #LiveLOVEdaily #reallove
As an #alpha female, I want more than a boyfriend or one to call my “man”. I want a #partner in love, life and business I can share my joys with…ups and downs with, have fun with plus #support his #vision and #dreams.#husbandmaterial Simply stated: I want someone I can celebrate and share the journey of life with and create success with better than Kim and Kanye or Jay-Z and Beyonce. My vision is so expanded that I’d like to help support the new media standard of what a successful couple looks in media like by infusing faith as the coagulant that keeps the relationship impenetrable from any temptation or demise. #ForeverIsPossible #Always #NeverGiveUp #LoveWins #TrustGod
In that same vein, I also take full responsibility for my life by not creating any unnecessary stress for myself or the one I care about with what happens on a holiday determining the life or death of a relationship or being the deciding factor as to whether I had a “successful” Valentine’s Day. Looking back, I can’t believe I put that much pressure on myself or anyone else in my life. I can see clearly now the pain is gone. Truly. Literally.
Ultimately nothing can separate the one I am destined to spend the rest of my life with from me. I have entered a sweet surrender of my own life. I am so much happier now that I’ve learned to #LiveLOVEdaily and stay in a perpetual state of gratefulness. As long as I continue to love myself, I know I am loved because love daily lives in me.
While I’m working on my next books due out this spring and summer, enjoy just one of my favorite songs below on this wonderful Valentine’s day week from another power partner of the #IGNITEyourLife with Toy Parker Network, national recording artist, photographer, videographer and more, Jason Peele of Apeeling Studios.
Wherever love comes from and whenever it finds you, remember to always be grateful!
Today’s post is an excerpt from Toy’s next book on love
to be released Valentine’s Day 2017–
In the meantime, be sure to #JoinTheConversation on the