Whether you are in a relationship or not, you may suffer from some residual angst or palpable pain from Valentine’s Days past when you were:
- not in a relationship and feeling like a reject,
- mending a broken heart and pining over lost love,
- feeling alone in a loveless relationship,
- racked by anxiety and doubt, questioning your relationship status or wondering how your partner will show up to acknowledge this special day.
Have you let a lonely Valentine’s Day strip you of any feelings of self-love?
This Valentine’s Day, whether “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” or “All You Need Is Love,” if you truly “Want to Know What Love Is,” focus on being your own Valentine and grant yourself the greatest love of all, self-love!
Now, the concept of self-love is a complex subject. On a daily basis, with work, family, and your to-do list, you likely don’’t take time to think about self-love. When I ask clients about their feelings of self-love or how they foster it, they tend to respond with a blank stare. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day and enjoying “Everlasting Love.”
How To Cultivate More Self-Love
- Foster Your Uniqueness. Many folks spend a lifetime seeking love outside themselves. Feelings of self-love are determined by your outer accomplishments, level of success, or ability to make others love and affirm you. While all the achievements and expressions of affection do feel good, they are fleeting. Whenever you look to others or anything in the external world to validate you or fill you up, then you truly are looking for love in all the wrong places!When it comes to self-love, if you never want to go without, then you must go within. You must take on valuing yourself. How? Consciously foster your own uniqueness. Take stock of your awesomeness! “What do you love about you?” “What makes you special?” “Why would another love to have you in their life?” For self-love to grow, consciously cultivate it by proactively looking for all your virtues and valuing your uniqueness.
- Change Your Thoughts. Yes,your thoughts do shape your reality. However, your thoughts are primarily automatic and unconscious. You don’t even realize you are thinking what you are thinking. Did you know that we all have about 50,000 negative thoughts per day and that 95% of them are repeated daily? That means you listen to the same narrative of 47,500 of negative thoughts day after day!
Most of your negative thoughts concern yourself.
Indeed, the soundtrack looping around your brain isn’t from a “Silly Little Love Song;” rather, it’s a choir of condemnation and criticism which asks, “What is wrong with me?” and sings a refrain of “I’m not good enough!”
For self-love to grow, change the song in your head. Catch disempowering thoughts that make you feel bad and replace them with nurturing, supportive, empowering ones.
For self-love to grow, start treating and talking to yourself like someone you love!
Fill Your Own Cup. Self-love is no spectator sport but an active practice that takes conscious thought, consistent action, and ongoing attention. No one size fits all. To live a life of self-love, continuously define what that looks and feels like for you. You must define:
- What thoughts, actions, habits, situations and people feel good to and for me?
- What are those that don’t?
Then, fill your cup with the thoughts, actions, things, and people that make your mind, body, and soul sing. Yet, be diligent as if it doesn’t feel like love, it is not!
Do not put anything into your cup that does not feel like love! As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, know that the best gift to give others and yourself is to totally love yourself. When you love yourself fully, not only can you love others more but you also teach others how to love themselves more.
Transformational Action Steps
- Start observing your internal dialogue, thoughts, and actions. Become aware whether or not they are self-loving. How do they impact your feelings of self-love?
- When you start doing or thinking something that is not self-loving, close your eyes momentarily and, with a slow, nourishing breath, turn your attention back inside. Ask yourself, “What can I do in The Now to bring more self-love into my life?” Maybe it’s going for a walk or making a list of 10 reasons why you are utterly fabulous. Perhaps it’s calling one of your favorite people. What a great ritual to do at the start of each day! Ask yourself what you can do today to bring more self-love into your life. Whatever it is, take that action!
- Celebrate yourself on Valentine’s Day! Write yourself a love letter, cook yourself a scrumptious meal, buy yourself sexy lingerie, take a bubble bath. Do something to spoil yourself and make yourself feel totally loved and lit up!