Even though Stripping- My fight to find Me brings to life my experience, it is a story of many of us, those who suffer and those who feel shame.

My poems will push you to ask questions of yourself. The ferociousness of my battle will give you an exhilarating rush and invigorate you. My struggle and victory to give myself permission to love myself and seek a life of joy will inspire you. My discovery that we may be broken, but we are not victims, will empower you.

“Sunita Merriman demonstrates in this book what is at the heart of healing- courage. Whether you are a clinician or a client, this book can serve as a guide to the healing process.”

- Kristin A.R. Osborn, Author of Paraverbal Communication in Psychotherapy: Beyond the Words

“Sunita Merriman’s poems touched my heart. I read them and felt great compassion”

- Marion Solomon, Ph.D Author of Narcissism and Intimacy, Co Editor of Healing Trauma

“I am overwhelmed by the emotion and vivid imagery that Dr. Sunita Merriman has revealed in this remarkable book. Her openness, her intelligence, her willingness to bare her deepest thoughts and feelings- they almost make me want to look away at times. But of course, I cannot. And equally, I will read it again and again, taking new meaning and probing my own inner thoughts at a fresh level with each poem. It is a stunning achievement.”

- Lou Heckler, Professional Speaker and Speaker Coach

Friday, February 8, 2019

Valentine's Day- A Hallmark holiday, a mockery of relationships or a celebration of love?



Hello,
It's Sunita here.

There will be an estimated 145 million Valentine's Day cards purchased this year. (This astounding number does not include the cards exchanged by children in schools ) Women purchase 85% of those cards. That comes out to about 123 million cards...

This is not a case of a close finish where one has to look at the film of the end of a race many times over to determine who the winner is. Women clearly are the champions of buying Valentine's Day cards! That was evident to me years ago when I worked at Paper Chase at the Bay Shore Mall in Ottawa, Canada. It was a store where we sold greeting cards, paper goods and really neat gift items. Valentine's Day was the second busiest season after Christmas. Every year we started seeing people come in a few weeks before February 14 and browse the card racks. They would take their time to select cards. They looked like they were truly enjoying the process and it was obviously something they put thought into.

And then in contrast, there was the predictable mad rush in the store on February 14 that extended late into the evening. The last minute shoppers  rushed in frantically looking for a card. I remember one person offering to pay me $20 just to wrap his hastily purchased gift so he could beat the long line at the register and get out to be on time for his date that night. $ 20 was a lot of money in 1991...

Generalizations are never fair  but they usually convey some accuracy to a situation. So it would be safe for you to assume that most of the shoppers who bought their Valentine's Day cards early were women. And the mad dash was primarily made by men. And the statistics shared above clearly demonstrate the gender tilt of this Hallmark Holiday when it comes to volume as well.

Next Thursday there will be millions of restaurants filled with couples, friends and those who choose to mark this occasion with more than a card. Florists have been planning for this day since it passed last year. And is anyone willing to hazard a guess on the volume of chocolate sales this week?

Have we reduced the day to a rote of card-dinner-chocolate? Have we bought into the marketing messages and the masterful visual images that suggest that only those who are out celebrating in this fashion are the lucky ones that are loved? Are you without a significant partner in your life and feel the loneliness  highlighted by this day of kitschy amplification of romantic love? Are you annoyed by the hoopla of Valentine's Day? Maybe you're offended, hurt and manipulated by this universally granted opportunity for your partner to be able to publicly put on a show of love for you while they neglect, devalue or even abuse you the rest of the days of the year? Or do you look forward to this one evening where you can dedicate time to celebrate your relationship in a special way and pamper the one whom you adore?

Or maybe you have your own unique way of marking the day that is creative and different than what the 'norm' is?

I'm sure that there will be all of the above going on next week.

I don't have an opinion on how Valentine's day 'should' be celebrated or even if one must mark the day. But I do see this day from my perspective of having a deep understanding from both our need for love and our desire to love.We are biologically wired for connection. Our bodies, minds and souls yearn to be touched and loved. We desire to be connected with others on every level of our exisitence. We suffer deeply when we are not loved. We inhabit dark places when our love is not reciprocated and when we are rejected by those whom we love.

Love is everything.

So I say, let's celebrate love at every moment and opportunity that we can.

Valentine's Day is one more day for us to honor love. Celebrate it anyway that makes sense to you. Make it an expression of who you are. In this celebration, include whomever you feel enriches your life. Reach out to your secret crush. Be crazy and take risks. Mend broken relationships by picking up the phone and calling someone to say you love them. Deepen friendships by mailing a Valentine's Day card. Gaze into you lovers eyes and express your innermost thoughts. Go out with you friends. Spoil your kids rotten by baking gooey chocolate cupcakes.

Or just let it pass by uneventfully.

What I urge you to do however, is not let love pass you by.

"Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there" says Rumi.

Celebrate love every day, every moment and every second of your life. Because there is nothing else that exists that is worth living for.

Wishing you much love this Valentine's Day and every day,
Sunita

#selfloveselfcarefirst #jointhemovement


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