February 14th, the day some of us look forward to, some of us dread, some of us chose to ignore. It’s the day when Cupid shoots his arrows of love and we all hope to get bitten by the love bug, Valentine’s Day. Pairing with the opposite sex is such a big part of what could feel like “self-validation” in our society. It seems the seeds are sown deep, to feel wanted, desired or belong to someone. I remember in the third grade, the butterflies that came when those little square flat cards were handed out. The picture of Snoopy asking Woodstock to “be my valentine” gave such joy if it came from that special someone. Then even as we continue on throughout teenage years and adulthood, if you’re not paired up you feel like some kind of wall flower, third wheel or outcast. Why is it that we need this type of validation to feel worthy, especially in certain situations which focus on love, such as Valentine’s Day, not having a date to a wedding or not being asked to dance at the prom. Love being the key word here or lack thereof is what these situations tend to represent for many of us who are single. Lack of love presents a void that is difficult to fill, but are we confusing love with romance. Most likely because romance is an experience but love is a state of “being” that truly originate within ourselves. When we are looking for the experience of romance, let’s first examine our own sense of self love, because without self-love, the experience of romance can never come. Those of us who do not truly love and value our own identities as individuals have no room for the coupling type of love which comes with the romance experience. When I say we have no room, I mean without the presence of self-love in your life we carry way to much emotional baggage to allow romance to enter our lives.
Self-Love begins with “I”
The practice of self-love is all about the “I” and nurturing the “I” in your own personal identity. Being kind to yourself, forgiving your shortcomings, (we all have them, we are human after all) and feeling validated for no reason whatsoever. You really need not have any expectations of yourself to practice self-love, loving yourself for no reason just because you are you, unique, quirky, and perfectly imperfect just the way you are. Being comfortable with your own identity and loving yourself just “because” is the first step in self-love and releasing all the emotional baggage that you have carried for all this time. Try these affirmations; they all begin with the all mighty “I”
I am loved unconditionally
I am perfect the way I am
I am validated in all my feelings and emotions
I am supported in all I do by the highest power that exists
You can continue and adjust these “I” affirmations to suit your own inner support system. There are also many conscious life changes you can implement into your daily routine that will nurture and enhance the power of your own sense of self- love.
Keep all your relationships balanced and equitable. Remembering if you do not feel you’re giving and receiving on an equal basis, it’s time to move on. Anytime a relationship makes you feel depleted your not honoring yourself.
Keeping the inner dialogue loving: Whenever you begin to hear negatives in your mind, such as, “you’re not good enough” or “Oh I’m having a really bad hair day!” (yep, hair is a biggie) change it around. Tell yourself how wonderful you are and make note of how pretty your eyes are and how they sparkle when you smile. Just keep it positive. When those negatives creep into your mind, control, alt, delete and reboot to a fresh and positive new screen.
Nurture your spirit: When you cherish your soul and grow spiritually loving yourself comes naturally. Remember the spirit is the energetic force that fuels the physical body. A healthy and vibrant spirit shows through in your appearance. Mediation, listening to your intuition and higher self will guide you in all the right directions.
Take care of your body: Diet, mindful exercise, not being sedentary and being overall mindful of keeping your body as stress free (eliminating caffeine and other stimulants) as possible will encourage your self-worth and feeling validated for no reason will come.
Embracing your dark days: Just because you love yourself, doesn’t mean you’re not going to have “those” days. When everything seems to go wrong be kind to yourself. If it means staying in bed for the night with the box of Samoas that you really didn’t want to buy but bought because the Girl Scout was too cute. Indulge yourself once in a while and work yourself through the dark times with love, kindness and patience.
Consider your inner child: Is he or she contaminating your adult life? When you can, look through some family photo albums and remember that child who was or should have been loved unconditionally by your parents and family. That child is still within you and waiting to be loved again. Parent yourself and lavish all the love and praises you can think of on this child. Your inner child will thank you!
This Valentine’s Day keep in mind that love is something that emanates from deep inside you. Only until you can embody this state of “being” can you make room for romantic love in your life. You don’t need to be someone else Valentine to feel whole, validated or significant, you are all these things already. Whether you are in a relationship or single this February 14th, remember romance without self-love is a very lonely place to be. Now go… love yourself!