Today marks Valentine’s Day- a Holiday for the Lovers. Although I don’t have any attachment to this day – I am a sucker for celebrations- so I can appreciate a day dedicated to celebrating love and affection for one another. However, the love I want to discuss today is the best kind there is- the Foundation, the GOAT…Ok i’ll stop.
Of-course I am talking about SELF-LOVE!
I am a huge advocate for Self Love and I believe a healthy life starts with loving oneself first and foremost.
Valentine’s Day puts immense amount of pressure on people that may not be romantically involved. I mean let’s face it, the marketing hype is ridiculous -the gifts, dates and other romantic gestures – it’s all too much and can make one feel alone and isolated. But what’s one day to remind us of how alone we are, we have 364 good ones to look forward to, don’t we?
Well, do we though?
How many of us feel alone and isolated on a regular basis? And this isn’t directed at people who aren’t in relationships. The lack of Self Love affects all of us. It actually feels worse when we are in relationships and still feel alone.
Maybe we can take this opportunity to assess our individual lives and try to practice some well deserved Self Love. Let’s give ourselves the affection we are requiring, in some cases Demanding from others.
Any day is a good day to evaluate our Love for the Self – Especially Today!
Self Love Begins with Self Acceptance
What’s on your mind right at this moment? I want you to pause and take a moment and be mindful of the thoughts, feelings and other emotions that are surfacing – when you come around to formulating an answer, sit with it for a moment. Acknowledge whatever is coming to the surface.
We often hear the idea of being with our thoughts and say to ourselves “ what a bunch of crap,” or we are simply discouraged with the idea of Self Love all together, because it sounds like some -new age BS- not to mention we can’t quite grasp the process that may be involved. Self Care, Awareness, Acceptance – too complicated and down right Self Absorbed!
Yes, it can be complex at times, but at the core it’s really about giving ourselves the permission to feel worthy. And sitting with our thoughts, questioning our feelings and being aware of who we truly are is a key component to finding ourselves worthy of love ( from ourselves and others.)
Learning to accept and love ourselves requires us to look inward; deep enough to unveil our vulnerabilities. The shame, guilt, trauma, pain and other struggles we’ve buried deep within us. All the experiences that have shaped us (the beautiful along with the ugly). These experiences determine how we show up in loving ourselves and others. The beauty in us extends itself in magnificent ways while the ugly – well we all know the saying, “hurt people hurt people”, but hurt people also hurt themselves. The damage we inflict onto ourselves is far greater, and we often don’t even realize that we’re stuck in a cycle of inflicting consistent pain onto ourselves. We put up these barriers in the name of protection and choose to operate from positions of fear.
Embracing Truth and Authenticity
Acknowledging our trauma and facing the hard truth about who we are is not easy, but it’s necessary to break down the walls we’ve built. We need to redefine what is means to show up for ourselves and the people we love. To do this, we must be willing to do the work and start identifying our pain points. This is essential to healing and loving who we are in the way we desperately need.
Self Awareness is the start to cultivating Self Love – however to be self aware is having to face some hard truths about ourselves. More often than not we make peace with a false reality we’ve created. We’ve been living it long enough that we accept it as our truth. Coming to terms with the -REAL- truth will require some adjustments, or in some cases we may need to shift our identities entirely – and this can be very scary. Change will require us to shift and shake up these false realities that don’t align with who we are.
The goal is to identify the version/s of ourselves we’ve been putting aside for far too long. We have to nourish parts of us we’ve deemed – unworthy- and It won’t happen overnight. The journey to authentic Self Love will require us to divorce the delusions of our false realities in order to arrive to a destination of Radical Acceptance.It’s a journey of many uncertainties, and it will look different for all of us. It’s important to find a path that’s suitable to You.I can assure you that it’s worth the work and your life will drastically improve as a result.
Embracing Differences and Leading With Love
The unfortunate truth is that there are many factors shaping our experiences. Love is beautiful, but it requires volnurability. And we rather bypass this process all together because we don’t want to open ourselves up to experiencing more pain- it’s no different when it comes to Self Love – in fact it’s harder because we are our worst critiques. We often operate from a place of hurt, so we try to protect ourselves at all costs. Not to mention – we live in a world that doesn’t encourage discomfort and consistently tells us to seek validation from the outside world. We’re instructed to play out the same tired ideas of love over and over again. No wonder we feel trapped in these never ending cycles of Self Doubt. But, we can dare to love ourselves in-spite of the limitations.
Self Reflection and addressing our vulnerabilities can teach us to be compassionate to ourselves. The realization of how uniquely different and beautiful we are can lead us to feeling empathy and a desire to understanding ourselves more.This can reveal a world full of possibilities -Not only by showing us that we can be different and still worthy of love, but also by helping us realize the beauty in the differences that exist outside of us. Once we minimizing the fear and discomfort we feel with ourselves, we can find safety in this ecosystem that’s trying to heal alongside us. You are not alone!
Unwavering Self Love – Embracing Who We Are
Life can be unfair, let’s be real, – it’s sometimes Trash- but as long as we’re living we have some control. If we choose to be fueled by hurt, hate and negativity, how we view ourselves and the world will reflect just that. We can’t let our fears, anxieties, and biases lead us to our downfall. It’s very important that we recognize our negative beliefs and limitations and muster-up the courage to embrace parts of us that can really benefit from love.
Celebrating our strengths (no matter how big or small), Being kind and Understanding of the self, along with Engaging in activities and experiences that nourish and cultivate positivity, peace, and joy can bring us closer to feeling compassion towards ourselves and a step closer to Loving who we are.
We have to continue to confront the obstacles placed before us and eliminate all things that do not serve our best interest. The more we embrace who we are the healthier we feel about ourselves and the world – It’s the gift that keeps on giving –
Let go of the Grudges , Let go of the Hurt, Let go of the Anger – Forgive Others, Forgive Yourself and Invite Love into Your Life!
A life where you’ve clearly identified your values and your worth is one that makes you feel empowered. Start living a life that’s in alignment with who you truly are. The choice you make to give yourself this kind of unwavering Self Love is the ultimate investment in yourself. And you’re worthy of that – We all are!