“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”-Dr. Seuss
What’s sweeter than chocolate and longer lasting than chocolate? The adoration of the person who gazes back at you when you look in a mirror. While we are accustomed to thinking of Valentine’s Day as a one time of year celebration of the love between romantic partners, wouldn’t it be lovely to see it as a year-round gift that you give to yourself?
Many of us were not encouraged to be self-loving, by adults who considered it being full of ourselves or prideful. Sadly, they may have been taught that by previous generations. Let’s change the paradigm, shall we?
Consider the messages you received about your worthiness to be loved. If you were lacking in positive feedback, it may feel challenging to stir some up now. Take a moment to consider all that is amazing about you. What are some of your gifts and talents? What do you do that is unique to you? Whose lives have you touched in positive ways? Remember the holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life in which the main character George Bailey questions his worth and even his birth. At the end of the film, he came to recognize the difference he made in the lives of those who were grateful that he had been born. We could think of it as a Valentine’s Day movie and not just a Christmas film, since it really is all about love.
Be mindful of how you speak to yourself. Are you self-critical or self-compassionate? Do you buoy yourself up or bully yourself down? Are the words you use to describe yourself what you would say to or about someone you love? We teach people how to treat us. Asking for what you want may be difficult, but you will be more likely to receive if you open yourself to it willingly.
If you have one, look at a photo of yourself as a young child. How do you feel when you gaze into that little one’s eyes? Ask yourself if you are any less worthy of love and care than the tiny being you once were. Allow the adult that you are now to offering your child self some nurturing. Imagine them crawling into your lap as you cuddle and read your favorite book together.
Treat yourself the way you would a beloved other. Whether you are single or partnered, give yourself the gifts of time and attention, taking yourself on dates to places you have always wanted to go. Make memories that will sustain you in times when your self love tank is a quart low.
Spend time with people who uplift and support you. Allow them to offer you time, energy, hugs, gifts, and be willing to receive. Remember how good it feels to give to others and let them enjoy witnessing your happiness.
Listen to music that stirs your soul. Move your body to the rhythm, at your own pace. Let go of any belief that you are not graceful enough, that your body is the wrong size, shape, or condition. Do the Body Love chant as you place your hands on various parts and say, as an example, “I love my head, I really, really love my head, thank you, head.” (hair, face, neck, heart, belly, hips…) as you work your way down. If you find yourself cringing when you get to certain places, up the amps on the body love.
Touch can be sensual or sexual at your comfort level. Hug yourself, rub in lotion and oils, wrap yourself in soft and cozy fabrics, snuggle with willing humans, or critters, do self-massage where you can reach or treat yourself to the pampering service offered by a professional. If you are in a relationship with another person, let them know what your desires are and inquire about theirs, to deepen intimacy. Recognize your own beauty. You are so worthy of all the love you offer others.
Happy Valentines’ Day every day.