Valentine’s Day seems to be a day we obsess over being in love and more so being lonely. I have friends who hate Valentine’s day whether they are in a relationship or single. But love is so much more than the feeling that people share in a romantic partnership. How can you love yourself a little more today? Are you sick of hearing about self-love? Are you confused by what people even mean by that term? I don’t care if you’re married, divorced, or a baby right out of the womb- we all deserve our own affection, attention and adoration. Self-love is a necessary component to being fulfilled, challenged and whole. Ultimately, you loving yourself shapes a better world for all of us. What should you remember to ensure you’re practicing self-love today and everyday?
It’s not selfish– People are typically hesitant to take time for themselves. “I’m too busy.” We pour ourselves fully into our jobs, families, lovers and hobbies so that at the end of the day what is left over for us? Nada. It’s not selfish to put yourself first in fact, that is the only way to ensure you are the greatest lover, teacher, friend, daughter, mother, or coworker possible. You cannot pour from an empty cup. The first step towards loving yourself fully is realizing it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Lovin’ you shows others how– If you are single- your self love practice and behaviors seem like they should show up more frequently. I hope that’s the case. When you are single, instead of pissing and moaning about being “forever alone”; you need to dig DEEP and figure out what makes you feel loved, what are the things that keep you feeling the most alive, and what are behaviors or situations that really make you question yourself and your worth. Being single should be a deep exploration of how you want to receive love so when the right person comes around, you can show them how to do it. When you are dating someone, they pick up clues from you. If you don’t value your sleep, exercise time, healthy eating habits or weekly calls with your mom, then they will help you walk all over them. Use the time to find what you love and what makes you feel loved.
It’s sexy– Plain and simple, it is incredibly sexy when someone is kind to themselves. It’s beautiful to see a woman who looks and the mirror and doesn’t tear apart everything in front of her. I celebrate when I take a photo with people and they’re like, “Yes, that’s an awesome photo” instead of “OMG I look terrible, look at my hair, I look so fat” etc. That.ain’t.sexy. The old saying, “Fake it till you make it” is pretty true here. Maybe you don’t feel super confident but ask yourself: Would I speak this way to my best friend? Would I speak this way to my grandma? If the answer is no, you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself either. It takes practice to retrain that brain, but try it out by just being kind. That kindness will transform into confidence before you know it.
It’s easy to forget– We don’t go into anything these days without a plan, a schedule or a set TIME for things. Make your self-love practice the same. Take yourself on dates. Schedule in at least 30 minutes of “Me” time per day (no matter how many commitments or people you have in your life.) This looks different for all of us. It would be great to incorporate yoga, meditation, journaling, gratitude practice and affirmations. But maybe self-love to you is simply giving yourself a manicure and listening to John Mayer, running a bubble bath or going for a walk. Find your kryptonite and schedule it in!
Self-love evolves– If you feel unhappy with where you are with either your physical self, relationship or career, it might seems tough for you to understand how to “love yourself” if you don’t even like yourself. Self love is not a light switch. We can’t turn it on one day and instantly be a master in confidence, appreciation and having a positive relationship with the person we are. Much like physical health, it is a process. It takes practice. It evolves and grows when you take the time to uncover what is holding you back and really place your inner attitude in the spotlight. Don’t talk nasty to yourself about being such a bitch inside your head. It counterproductive. Give yourself the space to evolve. It’s a relationship based practice not circumstance. You have to get better at loving you.
You will know what you deserve– If you love yourself and act as if you are your own biggest fan, you will never become complacent or settle for someone who isn’t right for you. People who have very healthy relationships with themselves tend to attract healthy relationships. You know what you need and will keep working towards living up to your truest essence and potential.
Love is not unique. It is not special. It is one of the only things in this world that unites us all. We have all felt love in one form or another and hopefully feel love now. Love is a uniting force and a magical villain that seems to be fleeting from all who are searching for it the hardest. Take control of the love in your life. We all have the ability to enter into a loving relationship with ourselves and allow that ripple effect to spread. The more we can promote, celebrate and cherish love the better. Each of us feels differently about love based on our current perception of the word but we need to reclaim it. It’s not just for puppy lovin’ teenagers, newlyweds or old married couples. Love belongs to all of us and the more we can spread it the more powerful our worldly experience will be. No matter how you celebrate today, spread love to those around you with simple or grand gestures. Choose love. Choose strength. Choose kindness. And stop saying you hate Valentine’s Day! Love is always a reason to celebrate.