When I think of Valentine’s Day, I look back to my early days in school, handcrafting paper bags and taping them to the back of my chair, as my classmates and I hand delivered Valentine’s Day cards and candied goodies to one another… ah such the simple life.
By the time I was 8, I had my first crush and made sure to give him a super special Valentine’s Day card, only for him to rip off the attached chocolate, toss the card in the garbage and with a mouth full of sweets say “thanks”, but the time was innocent and fun with no strings attached. Sure, my little heart was hurt, but by recess we were playing and back to being friends in no time!
Today, it seems people cringe at the thought of Valentine’s Day.
If you are single, the feeling of sadness and loneliness; if you are in a new relationship, the foolish game of being in denial when you really do want a gift, but say you don’t; or if you are in a long term relationship, the disappointment of questionable expectations.
Don’t let this one day of the year get to you. Love yourself.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 years (I believe we are edging 6½), and I think we may have “celebrated” once. I do not expect for him to get me a gift to show or prove his love, I have no expectations, because the moment we expect something, if it doesn’t go the way we would like, disappointment sets in, followed by sadness or anger.
Even if I were single, I would rather be happy and enjoy Valentine’s Day, than to sulk and feel awful, while comparing myself to others who are celebrating, because I know that the most important thing I have is loving myself and feeling great doing so!
A “Hallmark holiday” as they say, which is true. I was actually at a store the other day, and was so overwhelmed by the plethora of red and pink items in the aisle, nauseated by the smell of chocolate, and even more boggled by the amount of cards a person can pick out… I tried to find something sarcastic and funny, but no luck.
So how do you love yourself?
It’s learning the hard way.
You may not love the life you are living. You could be going through some crappy circumstances or situations, but begin by changing your conscious thinking pattern into a positive attitude.
You do not need a significant other to feel good about yourself.
Positively transform yourself by being accountable for every decision you make, including the way you want to feel, this in turn will shift the way you view, approach and experience loving yourself.
When you love yourself, you may even realize what is right and wrong for you, and what you deserve in a relationship and how you want or deserve to be loved in return. You realize your self-worth.
Throw negativity out the door!
Think of any advice or discussions you would have with a friend or family in your position. You wouldn’t scold them with criticizing words; instead, you would show them compassion, love and kindness for whatever they are going through, so why not do the same for yourself?
Learn to question and transform your thoughts into loving yourself first, instead of focusing on the love you desire from someone else.
By finding and living your passion, you are opening yourself to explore new activities and hobbies, or spending time with positive, supportive family and friends.
In the end, you need to treat yourself the way you want to be treated, by letting go of those old feelings or relationships that are unproductive and self-destructive.
What activities make you happy?
Can you do these activities alone or with friends?
Treat yourself into doing something that makes you happy, whether it’s an activity or hobby you are new to, or haven’t done in a while, do what makes you happy!
Get to know yourself through your thoughts.
I love mediating and being mindful. This practice may help alleviate any critical and judgmental thoughts that discourage your well-being.
You don’t need to meditate for 30 minutes, you don’t need the perfect Zen setting or meditation music (although it is a more relaxing environment), all you need is to simply take a moment for yourself, close your eyes, do deep breathing exercises and clear your mind for as little as 10 minutes.
I’d like to end off with a suggestion you can do, which trains you to look for and focus on:
- positive thinking, as opposed to negative;
- what you enjoy, rather than what you don’t;
- what you can or have accomplished, instead of what has not been done;
Create a list of the top 10 positive things throughout your day, every day.
The goal is to reach or exceed 10 positive things, to consciously make an effort to remain positive and recognize your strengths, because self love is what you deserve.
With love from my heart to yours.