Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Now before you protest celebrating this day because it’s “commercial or stupid,” I want to point out that I have been single on literally every single Valentine’s Day of my life. And yes, I still like Valentine’s Day. To me, Valentine’s day is a day to celebrate love and in the midst of our busy lives, I think we could use the reminder. Of course if you have a romantic love, you are the perfect audience for this day, whether you choose to celebrate it or not. But I also think that this day can be used to celebrate all the loves of your life – your family, your friends, and yes, even yourself.
What is self-love? There are multiple explanations of this term, some of them positive, and some of them negative. Some people view self-love in the same light as being conceited or self-centered, and it can be. But I’m talking about the kind of self-love that means respect for yourself, harmony with yourself, and a genuine appreciation for who you are.
On days like today, we usually think about love in terms of what we’re getting from others and what we’re giving to others. But what about ourselves? What are we giving to ourselves in terms of the choices that we make, the way in which we live our lives, and even the people we choose to surround ourselves with – the people we choose to love?
As many of you know, I have written about being bullied and made fun of as a kid, and how I ultimately had to make a change in my teens all the way to college to get out of that inferiority complex. I am grateful for the experience because I guess I learned really early that people are going to be hurtful and mean and make you feel inferior sometimes, just because they can. But I also learned that they need your consent, and that’s where self-love comes in.
Self-love isn’t something that you wake up with one morning, well, at least not in your adulthood. It’s something that you have to cultivate and that you have to defend when it gets challenged, and trust that it will be challenged. Self-love is acceptance of your failings and flaws while embracing your talents and beauty. Self-love is taking care of your health and paying attention to your emotions and being truly present in your relationships. Self-love is an understanding of what you deserve as a human being and indeed, what you don’t deserve. Self-love is living your life like you want to be remembered, and doing the best you can, knowing that some days you can give your absolute best and some days you can only give a little.
On this beautiful day about love, if we keep it in the right perspective and not get caught up in all the things that might make us question that we aren’t who we are supposed to be. I hope you’ll just take this as a reminder that you are loved and that you can and should be loved by you. And well, about romantic love, as Carrie Bradshaw once said, “If you can find someone to love the you that you love, well, that’s just fabulous.” Till then, just keep loving those you can. And that includes yourself.