My husband and I have never really made a very big deal of Valentine’s Day. Mainly because we both feel that love isn’t about a single day when you take time out to say ‘I love you’. It’s about making that effort every day. And on a very personal level, Valentine’s Day took on a whole new significance 11 years ago, because it was the day I went into labour with our son. So it kind of stopped being just about romantic love, and started being about family. So it’s not that we don’t recognise it at all, but we certainly don’t make a song and dance of it.
However, I’m really aware of how Valentine’s Day can leave a lot of people with really mixed (or even unpleasant) feelings. If you’re not in a relationship, it maybe doesn’t feel great to have romantic relationships shoved down your throat by all the commercialism surrounding the day. If you’ve ever tried to book a hotel or a restaurant on Valentine’s Day (let’s say because you want to take your son to do something nice for his birthday….) then you can guarantee that you’ll either find no availability, or you’ll pay a huge premium for the privilege!
So I want to take a whole new look at Valentine’s Day.
How often do you really take time to show yourself how much you love you? In fact, is it something you ever give any thought to?
Whether you are in a relationship or not, whether you’d like to be in one or not, loving yourself is immensely important. Now let’s be clear, I’m not talking about being selfish or vain here. Loving yourself isn’t about always prioritizing yourself over everyone else. It’s not about treating yourself to something at the expense of others. It’s not about looking at your needs and no one else’s. But it is about appreciating yourself, recognizing the good that you do, and ultimately making the decision to like yourself. It’s about seeing yourself the way you see the people you love, being able to look at yourself objectively and favourably.
It’s not always easy to do, of course. When you have conditioned yourself to think negatively about yourself, it’s really hard to learn to think more positively.
The first step, though, can simply be to understand this:
- Loving yourself is important. If you don’t, then you won’t understand why other people love you. You might even push them away. You will undermine your own self esteem and confidence. Loving and accepting yourself will mean you put yourself in a position to have healthy relationships with others, romantic or otherwise.
- Loving yourself is something you can learn to do. It is possible. Some people work it out on their own, others need a little help. But no matter where you are right now, believe that it is possible.
So today, be your own Valentine. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t also be someone else’s, of course, but if you’ve ever felt lacking in love for yourself, try this:
Get a sheet of paper, and write yourself a Valentine’s message, as if you were writing it for someone else. Write down all the things you can think of, no matter how small you think they might be, that you like and appreciate about yourself. They might be achievements, or aspects of your personality, or things you are proud of. Aim for 10 things. You can draw, make a collage, write a poem, a story, whatever you like. Make it yours, make it all about you.
And if you find it hard, that’s ok. Remember this is a tiny step in the right direction of loving yourself – just notice what feels difficult, and don’t judge yourself for it. ❤
I’m really interested to hear your own experiences with learning to love yourself, or struggling with it. I’d hopefully be using it to inform a new coaching program, and if you are happy to get in touch right now, I’ll be giving you (with no obligation) a special offer to use against the program.
So complete this form now and tell us your experiences!
©Liz Wootton, 2014. All Rights Reserved.