Food For Thought: Self Love
Come the beginning of January, not even one day after New Years Eve, you suddenly see it. Valentines Day decor. It’s everywhere. Wherever you are there it is, manufactured love staring us down with pink hearts in its emoji eyes.
Now, I don’t have anything against the holiday of love. I really don’t. I think it has an uncanny way of magnifying the good in your relationship and unfortunately the bad. It can also let you know where you stand in your search for love if you’re unattached. Maybe you’re finally ready to start dating again? Maybe you’re ready to take a break. Or, maybe you’re simply having a grand ‘ol time with yourself right now.
That’s where self love comes in. Whether you’re in a committed relationship, dating someone, playing the field or in the out zone the most important part of loving anyone else is how you love yourself.
For a long time I really thought I had that whole self love thing down. I mean, I had been a performer most of my life. Singing and dancing in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people I should have a good sense of self love, right? Nope. I didn’t. And, it took some rather hard knocks to the head to realize overwhelmingly that it was time to really figure out what self love really meant and how I could finally learn how to create it.
Self love isn’t so much about being accomplished in your life. It’s not measured on how well your love life is doing, or how well your career is going, either. It’s also not really about taking yourself on “dates” or buying yourself a new designer purse. While those things are nice and I’m all for treating myself here and there, real self love is a little more personal than that. Self love is more about how you allow other people to treat you.
The way you allow people to treat you is a direct reflection of how much you love yourself.
My mom has always used this tried and true psychology metaphor, “Be your own parent to your inner child”. I realize that may sound strange coming from my actual parent, but it stands up.
If you remember yourself as a child and how helpless you were without your parent and how big the world could be without protection that would be your inner child. That child still sits inside of you and when scary things come up in your life that negative emotion wakes that child up.
Now think of yourself as the adult you are now. Would you allow anything bad to happen to a child? Not only any child, but your child? Of course not. You would come to their rescue. And, when we come to our own rescue we’re parenting ourselves. When we parent ourselves that is where self love is born.
Maybe that means taking yourself out of a difficult situation or relationship. Most times when we feel stuck it’s only fear that’s telling us we are. When you parent yourself by removing yourself from a bad relationship or stand up to a bully in your workplace, or finally conquer that fear you practice self love at its highest degree.
The more you put value on your feelings, the ones that you might rather ignore because they’re scary the stronger you become and like a domino effect you start to develop self love. You give yourself the strength you need and when you give yourself what you need you feel happy, fulfilled and loved and that is the greatest feeling in the world.
By doing scary or challenging things it’s an automatic way of clearing the path to choosing the right romantic partner, friend and colleague to share part of your life with. And, I tell you what that my dear, that’s so much better than a heart shaped box of chocolates once a year.
If you read this far I hope this has shot some energy into you and you’re feeling empowered to do the things you’re scared to do to create more self love in your life. I’m a big fan of love and there’s never a shortage of it.