Valentines may have come and gone, but love should always be there, right?
Not the love we receive and expect from others, but the love we give and have for ourselves.
Valentine’s day generally sparks two kinds of responses- those filled with romantic love, affection, and warmth vs those that dread the holiday due to either the lack of love or belief in its effect.
Now on some level, I do agree that there is a superficiality around the day’s expectations and how one’s affections may be measured- by candy, roses, and champagne. But I also believe that regardless of the commercialization of the holiday, there is a deeper message that could be worth reflecting on.
Typically you may hear or feel the pressure of finding a valentine, which automatically sets the tone that to experience love, it must involve someone else. We make the mistake of looking at the word love and immediately associating it with others, what love we receive and give.
However, I believe all types of love should be celebrated.
Before ‘desiring’ to love others and ‘expecting’ love- we must start with the love we have for ourselves. We place so much importance on how we love in our relationships that we forget the longest relationship we have is with ourselves. And this is where it begins.
How can you truly show others love, when you do not offer it to yourself. We rightfully treasure our family relationships and friendships but fail to consider our relationship with ourselves as sacred.
We may have an idea of love but because we fall short of giving or providing ourselves with that standard of love we end up disappointed when others cannot meet that ideal.
We must remind ourselves that relationships are complimentary, you and the love you have yourself are all you need to feel fulfilled and whole.
I consider self-love to be more than “I love me” and more so about how you view and hold yourself. In what regard do you see yourself and what level or standard do you respect and admire the person you are.
How do you appreciate you- the good and bad along your journey.
Self-love is subjective- it is one’s reflection of themselves, it is the high- regard one has for their well-being and the different ways in which they maintain it. It is one’s ability to accept their weaknesses while understanding their strengths. Navigating, both the good and bad aspects that make us human. Self-love is dynamic- it is not about feeling good about ourselves constantly. Rather it is the appreciation we have of ourselves accompanied by the actions we make towards our growth.
Self-love is understanding exactly who you are and being comfortable with you. It is being kind and gentle to yourself. Be patient with who you are and what is still to come but love yourself in that process. Of course, there will be times when you are either sad or angry, etc but self-love is knowing how you feel and acting accordingly. Even when a mistake is made, you accept it and learn from it. Allow yourself to make those mistakes so that you’re able to identify failure and how to navigate through it.
It is known that humans are messy, complicated beings. It would be naive to assume that there will be no struggle or tragedy but self-love is showing up for yourself regardless. Instead of being your own enemy, self-love promotes using your inner dialogue to speak positivity into existence. It is having a positive image of yourself and taking care of yourself. You are responsible, for your happiness, accountable for the image you project and the energy you emit. By taking the time to learn yourself and fall in love with yourself you begin to understand your boundaries and standards. This allows you to identify who matches your energy and vibrates on your frequency. Once you understand your worth you will attract someone who recognizes it too. The love you give you will be a standard of how you expect to be loved. Self-love is making peace with your imperfections and understanding your flaws. But still choosing to accept you and love yourself in the darker moments.
I know understanding it by definition and practicing it are two different things. How do we begin to love ourselves?
Take the time to practice and make it something you work on daily.
Start by saying positive things to yourself. Wake up and say something you’re proud of regarding yourself. Instill healthy, powerful thoughts. Invest in yourself and your energy, maintain boundaries and standards do not lower your energy for others. They will have to elevate. Protect your energy, do not let others take it from you, life is short to spend it with people who do not add value to your life. Prioritize your needs and wants. Identify your goals, desires and make the time to work on them. Do not sacrifice your values for anything. Stand strong and tall by your beliefs. Make healthy choices and follow your gut. You must learn to trust yourself and your instinct. You are your own moral compass. Make time for self-care and healthy habits ( sleep, exercise, nutrition, etc). You must take care of the temple that holds your mind and soul. Be aware of yourself and where you are in your journey. Cancel the inner- critic and replace it with a kinder version. Forgive yourself and let go of anything that no longer serves you.
Self-love is the foundation.
Figure out what self-love looks for you and what ways help enhance your regard for yourself. Practice it daily and build up a love for yourself that cannot be tainted. Be content with who you are and the love you give you. Any additional love that follows you is simply a bonus.