Valentines day is defined as the day to celebrate love but no one seems to promote the most important relationship of your life; yourself. I am a big believer in loving yourself first before loving others. I fail to see how any relationship can be healthy and stand the tests of time if the two involved haven’t even learnt to love who they are, first. If we have not become our own steady source of love then we use relationships to fill the void inside and hope that by others loving us, they can convince us to love ourselves too. The problem is that it doesn’t work like this.
I personally see Valentines day as a superficial consumerist annual event that offers a lack of depth. I think that placing ones energy into the relationship they have with themselves is a more meaningful way to celebrate Valentines day. This year is the first one in my whole life I actually have someone to share it with. However, after sharing my thoughts on the matter he understands my views towards the day and thus, I will be spending the day on my own, celebrating myself.
Instead of giving into the false need to rely on any third party to dictate your Valentines, gift yourself instead. This will create a higher value to yourself and causes an effect on those who come into your life as they recognise your sense of worth and treat you accordingly. Celebrate your beautiful you this year and treat yourself to all the greatness you deserve. Here are seven ways to show appreciation and tenderness towards number one…
Be gentle on Imperfections
Let’s get one thing clear right now; perfection is a myth. There is no debate or discussion, the case is closed and the troll under the bridge has eaten the key. It’s time to give yourself a break and stop ridiculing yourself on the flaws. I know this is harder done than said and if you’ve read my confessions on being a perfectionist post, then you’ll be aware that I completely understand how difficult it is to battle perfectionism. It’s difficult to just switch the light on and suddenly see the horizon; not accepting your flaws is only tying you down. Even when you know this, putting it into action and believing it is a challenge.
This is where the beauty of Valentines day comes in. Make yourself a promise that for this one day, you are not going to be hard on yourself. You have every other day to criticise yourself but on the fourteenth of february, those thoughts are not allowed to exist. If in any moment of these twenty four hours, you catch yourself channeling negative thoughts about something regarding ‘not being perfect’, take a deep breath. Hold it for a few seconds then exhale and release all of the thoughts on imperfections. Embrace your flaws as a gift that will lead you to your authentic, unique, very special and beautiful self.
Forgiving yourself is as important as forgiving others. Guilt is toxic as well as re-living your mistakes over and over. Deeply forgiving past faults and misjudgements in your previous relationships- including the one with yourself- will help cultivate an open heart that is ready to take on new experiences. Holding onto regrets, however, is detrimental to your own evolution. If you are keeping yourself in the same place, how can you ever be able to move forwards? You must release the urge to to replay a negative situation or event repeatedly in your mind. Don’t fall victim to your past by constantly reliving your mistakes nor remind yourself of what could have, should have or would have been. The past can not be changed. It’s time to move on.
Whilst you’re holding onto the past, it’s cutting your hands into shreds and I can assure you that there is always a gory mess to clean up. How can you hold anyone’s heart when your hands are too sore to hold your own?
“make peace with your broken pieces” ~ R.H. Sin
Create a positive mantra
A positive mind is the key to a happy life. Each of us have an ongoing internal script, whether we are consciously aware of this or not. These are the constant thoughts that run through our heads about ourselves and our lives. They can be bright happy thoughts that often look through a positive perspective or the other end of the spectrum full of shadowed scoffs and often with strong victimisation. It is important to be mindful of this inner voice and guide it to chose loving messages, always, and diminish any negativity.
The truth of the matter is that whilst change and self- improvement is encouraged, some things simply require acceptance. To change these negative thoughts, become consciously aware of the moment that they start to seep in. This will take time but it’s all about paying more attention to the specific internal script that is running through your head. Now create some empowering mantras that will lift you up and exterminate those harsh words you think about yourself. This could be: ‘I deserve to be loved and to love myself’, ‘self love is my birthright’ and ‘I am valuable’. Most importantly, do not let anyone walk through your mind with their dirty feet for this should be a garden with blooming flowers not thorns and weeds.
“What consumes your mind, controls your life.” ~ Alexander Alvarez
Write yourself a love note
The problem with society is that it often labels self-love as an act of arrogance. This needs to be addressed as it often controls people to be critical of themselves as they worry that they will be labelled as ‘big-headed’ or ‘cocky’ for loving themselves. How crazy is that? Self-love is an important act of compassion that everyone should be practicing every day and never seen as a negative. It is acceptable and encouraged that we should take time out of our lives to say good things about ourselves. You are not being arrogant just being kind to yourself.
Take time out of your day to write down all of the things that you admire about yourself. Fight the urge to point out all of your flaws- this does no good. Your self doubt muscle may be stronger than your self love muscle at the moment, but focusing on your strengths and your gifts will fuel your mission to create more appreciation and gratitude for yourself. How can anyone be kind to others if they can’t even be kind to themselves?
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection”
Nourish the body and mind
If you believe you’re not worthy of happiness, health and wellbeing then you might chose to eat junk food constantly, misuse substances, do very little exercise or stay in an abusive relationship.I am a big believer that we teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. If you don’t look after yourself you are making a statement to the rest of the world that you are not worthy of kindness, love or happiness. This is wrong. You are always worthy of good things and therefore you must look after yourself properly. If you don’t invest in yourself, then nobody else will. Worse, you leave the ones that love you feeling responsible as they to try and mend your broken pieces. Being selective about what food you chose to nourish the body with, is one of the most important acts of self love and paired with a great exercise regimen you’ll be glowing in no time.
“Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners” ~ William Shakespeare
Have a positive attitude
There is always something to be grateful for. Showing gratitude is a form of self-love because you are trying to see the positives in your life. It’s similar to having a friend but the friend is in fact you! When you’re kicked down to the ground, you’ll be there picking yourself up and pointing out the silver lining. Then when the sun is shining, you’ll also be there dancing in the warmth and feeling each sweet blessing.
“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s so simple, yet many of us forget to buy presents for ourselves every once in a while but it’s important to gift ourselves just as much as our loved ones. Why? because on the list of your loved ones, you should be on it also. Make sure to indulge in the things that create excitement and passion in your life for these are what fuel you to consistently function at your best. Moreover, they will always flood you with good energy. Try it and then notice the incredible aftermath. Whether it’s a trip to the spa at the the end of a month or getting lost in a good book, be sure to set valuable time aside for just yourself.
“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.”
~ Andrew Matthews
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What are your plans this Valentines?