There is a crack in everything . . . that’s how the light gets in. —Leonard Cohen
There is something about a holiday—and Valentine’s Day in particular—that makes us focus even more than usual on what we see as our faults. It must be the connection between our powerful, emotional needs for love and the cultural promise that the perfect love awaits us if—and this is a pretty big if—we achieve all the requirements that are contained in our girly thoughts.
Feeling Defective Is a Conditioned Response to Your Girly Thoughts
You know, girly thoughts, our society’s decisions about how you should look, how you should act, even how you should sound, with the promise that if you fulfill these requirements, jump through all these hoops, fit the current corporate image of beauty, then . . . maybe . . . your Prince Charming will magically materialize and you will have the perfect love you’ve been dreaming of.
Valentine’s Day: An Adult Fairy Tale
Valentine’s Day has become an adult fairy tale. We have the key players—you, the lovely young, innocent woman, and your man, your Prince Charming, who is capable of transporting you to another land where your true worth will be recognized, and where you will no longer need to work your butt off.
Well, you no longer believe in Cinderella and her glass slipper, so why do you believe that if you are perfect, the perfect love awaits? This is a big fantasy, not reality.
Why Don’t You Just Say NO?
You can try to tune out these V-Day girly thoughts, but that’s a lot of work!
Because these messages are all around on Valentine’s Day—from the ubiquitous heart shapes to the lyrics we hear in songs to story lines on TV shows and in movies. They all say the same thing: if you are not receiving the love you want so much, it is your fault because you are:
- too old
- too young
- too aggressive
- too passive
In short, you are somehow lacking.
Four Ways to Counter Those V-Day Girly Thoughts
Now is the time to stop blaming yourself for the lack of love in your life! Here are four ways you can:
- Become aware of those messages around you that tell you that you need to earn love based on how close you come to meeting these crazy girly thoughts Learn to identify them—and then say, “Oh yes, another message to make my girly thoughts even stronger.”
- Laugh! Yes, laugh. Now, you could cry, but why bother? Laugh instead because spending even an ounce of energy on listening to those silly thoughts is ridiculous.
- Become curious about your light. Yes, your light: What makes you glow? Let every girly thought that seeks to diminish you remind you instead of the best that is in you! Let each reminder of what is wrong with you, every message of a new hoop you need to jump through, be an invitation to think about what is remarkable about you. These messages have you thinking about yourself, so think about what makes you special!
- Don’t be afraid of your cracks. Whether it’s a new wrinkle or a new roll, a hair that has decided to grow on your chin or a new zit, remember how you handle this crack is how you let your light out into the world.
This Valentine’s Day, enjoy every part of you. You’ll discover that the more you do this, the fewer girly thoughts you’ll be nursing and the more you will enjoy your Valentine’s Day—whatever direction it takes you!
You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power.
Patricia A. O'Gorman, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice. She is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and amusing presentations that make complex issues accessible and even fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations across the country in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O'Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from director of a rape crisis center to clinical director of a child welfare agency, and director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a veteran of numerous television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of eight books including: The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan (2014), The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013), and Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012) 12 Steps to Self-Parenting.