It's Not Your Job To Love Me...It's Mine
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and for some people, regardless of relationship status, it often brings feelings of expectations and pressure. Commercialism and conditioning tends to influence our view of this holiday causing us to lose the true meaning of Valentine’s Day.
The holiday of love is a time to express love for each other in words and deeds, but are you remembering YOU? Yes, YOU! When was the last time you told yourself “I love you or I think you're amazing and special"? That may feel uncomfortable at first but that’s a preconditioned notion that self-love is selfishness. Self-love is actually the opposite of selfishness. Loving yourself means that you have value for your happiness and well-being. You recognize that your needs are just as important as everyone else's. It is a knowing that you are worthy of love!
When you love yourself unconditionally it translates into loving all parts of your self, especially the parts that are perceived as unlovable. Practicing and feeling self-love doesn’t come easily to many, especially for woman. Some little girls were taught that taking care of others is extremely important. Putting others needs first is highly praised leaving some women to feel unseen or not valued. Also being a “good mother” means always putting your child’s needs before your own. Some women seek feelings of worthiness and value from exterior sources. We’ve been judged and praised for taking care of others, judged about our appearance, judged in how we raise our children and judged in how we show up in our families and relationships. Very rarely are we praised for taking care of ourselves and choosing YOUR SELF first.
Like most skills, self-love can be mastered with practice. For starters care for yourself as you care for others. “After me you come first” is one of my favorite mantras. This is one of the first biggest steps to learning how to love yourself. Being in love with yourself provides you with self-confidence, self-worth and generally helps you feel more positive. You may also find that it is easier for you to fall in love with others once you have learned to love yourself first!
Treat yourself and do something you enjoy. This could be a bubble bath, watching a good movie, reading a book or simply going for a walk in nature. Take the time to be alone with yourself and connect to the relationship you have with yourself. Eventually you will enjoy your own company by taking yourself on a date.
Make a list of all of your qualities and be honest!!! Recognize and honor your talents and accomplishments. Being humble is not an option. Own your individuality and uniqueness. Stop comparing yourselves to others. Once you dig deeply within, you will begin to feel and acknowledge just how awesome you really are! Step into your true essence and remember who you truly are. Gift yourself of remembering who you are, and that is pure love.
Here’s a biggie to learn; “forgiving yourself”. Remember we are all doing our best. We tend to be our harshest critics. Last time I checked no one is perfect and we are all learning through our self-perceived mistakes. Do you remember what it felt like when you first started learning how to ride a bike? Did you hop on your bike and ride it without falling off. Chances are you fell several times and skinned your knees and felt such frustration. But I bet you kept getting back on that bike until you felt the joy of mastering the skill. It’s the same thing with self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. Be gentle and kind with yourself and release those feelings of guilt or shame. It just doesn’t serve you. Allow yourself to see the gifts of your mistakes, that’s called growth. Personally I think the world would be a boring place if we were all perfect.
“To thine own self be true”. Live your life by doing what feels right to you. Listen to your heart it never lies. Once again we feel pressured to showing up as someone else in the world. We fear of rocking the preverbal boat or hurting anyone’s feelings by saying NO. To say no is setting boundaries and listening to your true inner guidance of what feels right. Being honest with yourself and standing in your authenticity is self-empowering.
Be patient but persistent! Self-love is ever evolving. It’s something that needs to be practiced daily but can take a lifetime to master. Be kind and support yourself. Remember, to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. So this Valentines Day don't forget to show YOU a wonderful loving day.