This year I will be my own valentine.
I won’t spend this special *cough consumerist* holiday feeling like I’m without something incredibly essential. I won’t sigh with dejection, “woe is me.”
This Valentine’s Day I will wake up a realized being ripe with knowledge, power, and love. I will wash my face, look in the mirror, and be in awe of all that is me, was me, has created me, and one day will be me.
I will love the greatest treasure I have ever received—my life and by association my self. I love myself by realizing that my life is a gift and respect myself so much that I would never dream of being anyone else but me.
Self-love is always relevant, but it’s particularly important to keep in mind as we enter the season of love and new beginnings. While more information about practicing self-love and self-care is being communicated, often times it can be unclear exactly what is means to practice self-love.
How people love and take care of themselves looks differently for everyone. We are all different, but we all have common experience loneliness, insecurity, and confusion.
It can be difficult to navigate through daily struggles and confrontations while keeping your head above water and confidence in tact.
Practicing self-love makes life easier because it allows you to discover the light within yourself. This light that you can take with you everywhere you go to protect yourself against negativity, failure, and sadness.
With that said, I’m sure you’re wondering what practicing self-love actually looks like. It isn’t limited to these actions, but it looks a bit like this:
- Enjoying being alone
Take yourself out on dates. Tell yourself funny jokes. In a way this step is like courting yourself; an ongoing stage where you intentionally set out to figure out who you are, your likes and dislikes. It’s not easy to become comfortable with being alone at first, when the pressure to do something or be something isn’t as pressing. But with time and intent, you’ll find yourself pursuing the peace that solitude can grant.
- Listening to your unfiltered thoughts
When random thoughts pop up in your head, do you ever spend time to ponder them? Or wonder where they came from and why? Really listening to your thoughts can teach you a lot about the way you perceive the world and even help you tap into your intuition.
Everyone goes through low and high periods. They may be come lightly, hit hard unexpectedly, or seem harmless at first but then start to damage parts of your life. We are all fragile beings, so it is important to regularly nurture your heart, confidence, or whatever it may be that you feel is affected. This can look like taking time to relax and do something that makes you happy or reaching out to your community of friends and family.
- Being your own biggest fan
This one is really about being interested in your own growth and your own life. Compare this to the amount of attention and compliments people pour over celebrities. You play the starring role in your life, and if that doesn’t deserve praise then I don’t know what does.
- Living in alignment with your purpose.
Be whoever you are when you’re not trying to be someone. This is your authentic self. This is the person you’re not only best at being but also who you are meant to be. You can get into a place of alignment by not comparing yourself to others or seeking inadequacies within yourself.
- Know your limits. Know your triggers.
This is extremely important and took me (is taking me) a long time to figure out. To be healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally involves knowing when you’re stretching yourself too thin and making the decision to scale back. It means recording what triggers stress, anxiety, insecurity, restlessness, and all those other naggy emotions that make us feel like worthless crap and avoiding them to the best of your ability. If you can’t avoid your triggers, or feel ready to confront them, then it is within your power to work on controlling how you react to them. Remember, something only has as much power over you that you give it.
Now that I’ve told you how I practice self-love, share with us in the comments below about your self-love journey!