Happy Valentines Day, weekend, week, month…whatever for whenever you’re reading this lol.
St. Valentine’s day is recognised as a day of love, devotion and romance. Since the mid 18th century the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day has grown; with it being the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year. Aside from the card writing, gift giving and love making, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show yourself some love.
First and foremost, if you don’t love yourself, you cannot love somebody else. Why, because you cannot give someone else something that you don’t have.
Secondly, loving yourself is your power.
To truly love yourself allows for true happiness. Internal happiness comes from loving yourself for who you are, the perks, and the not so pretty. When you love yourself, there is no one that can take that away from you. If you are internally happy, although external factors may attempt to diminish this happiness, no one can take away happiness that comes from within you, apart from you – this is part of your power!
No one really teaches you how to love yourself. I truly started to love myself when I came to university. A time when I vowed to uphold myself highly. Partly because I didn’t want to get lost in the sauce of university ‘demons’, but also, because I wanted what I saw in other people. I wanted to have a strong sense of identity and self-confidence; these were (and are) things that I admired in the character of others.
To have a strong sense of identity requires spending time with yourself, knowing what makes you happy, excited, sad or angry. You can only be confident in something that you know well, something you have worked on, something that you trust. You’re not going to be confident on stage performing a routine you haven’t spent time on. Similarly, you are not going to be confident in yourself, if you do not spend time on building yourself, your character and set yourself up for achieving your goals (sometimes even working out what those goals actually are).
Self identity and confidence are part in parcel with loving yourself. Sometimes, it is easier said than done; especially where your ‘flaws’ lie. (I put flaws in inverted commas because your flaws may be another persons wish). Nevertheless, self-love is a journey worth taking.
My top tips for self-love: Self-affirmation, celebrating your successes and ‘me-time’
- Self-affirmation – Tell yourself you love yourself. In the mirror. Before you go to bed. When you wake up. Speak self-love into your heart, mind and soul.
- Celebrate your successes – not everyone sees your successes, especially the small ones. When you do something good, even if it is simply an extra 10 sit-ups at the gym, tell yourself well done. It feels good when someone else congratulates you, so congratulate yourself.
- ‘Me-time’ – You cannot love someone you don’t know. Set aside time to spend away from social media. I specify social media because it is the nest of comparison. Comparing your pictures to an american ‘instagram baddie’ is not going to make you feel better. Nor is comparing your twitter feed to the guy tweeting about his new balenciagas, new Audi and the ‘babe’ he’s taking to the Shard for dinner. (Don’t forget that people mostly share their highlights, what they want you to see.) Aside from that, read a book, listen to music, even look through old photos – old photo’s, snapchats and video’s are the best.
When you love yourself, not cockinesses, but confidence beams from you. People can see that you ‘know your sauce’ (know yourself, know your worth). You’ll radiate love and happiness because that is what is within you.
So today, I want you to do a little something for yourself. Once you’ve done that little something, in the spirit of giving, show a little love to someone else.
For my believers: You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139: 14) in God’s image. God took his time designing you just the way you are. As you are made in His image, if you truthfully love God (first commandment – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” – Matthew 22:38) you should love yourself. It is only then, that you can ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39). Remember you cannot love someone who you do not know, put time aside to spend with God daily; in this time you grow love for yourself, God and others.
Be your first Valentine. It may sound selfish, but if you’re not good, you cannot make anyone else better. If you don’t truly love yourself, you cannot truly give love to anyone else.
Peace & Love