AS VALENTINE'S DAY APPROACHES, a mass of guides and advice columns surface the internet for what seems like two distinct groups: coupled people and single people. For those with partners, impeccably photographed, romantic table spreads are accompanied by the experts hottest selection of gifts for beau. And single guides list the best anti-Valentines day flicks to fill the background of your loneliness and often stress the importance of, wait for it, self-love. That’s where this post feels a little different. We don’t care what your relationship status is, because when it comes to deepening your love for yourself, it simply shouldn’t matter. Without a space within us reserved for the love we have for ourselves, there is no where to put the abundance of love from others we might receive. Self love is for everyone. Let this Valentine’s Day be the extra push you need to be mushy gushy head over heels in love with yourself today, and everyday.
Since self-love is a completely subjective experience, no one besides you can tell you how to cultivate those feelings about yourself. So maybe you’ve tried a candle lit bath, spoke affirmations aloud to yourself in the mirror or wrote yourself the most romantic Shakespearean love letters. And maybe you’ve been totally disappointed by all that. The only way to ever discover what it is you need to do in order to think highly of yourself to the point you may call love, is by shutting the commentary of the outside world off. It’s time to tap into what love looks like for you, and truly believe that you deserve just that.
BUT, WHAT IS LOVE?
If essentially the goal of self-love is to treat yourself the way you treat the people you love, you’ll need to put some thought into what that is for you. Maybe, if you like to spoil the people you care about with lavish gifts, practicing self-love could look like a shopping spree and spa day. If you express your love through words, talking out loud to yourself or using a journal would just melt your own heart. The bottom line is, there is no wrong way to care for yourself, the same way there is no wrong way to care for someone else. So long as you intend to cause no harm, you can’t really go wrong.
LISTEN TO YOUR SELF-TALK
There is a constant commentary between our ears that we’ve come to know as our conscious mind. It never shuts up and is under the impression that it runs the show that is your life. It questions, analyzes, judges and has got something to say about absolutely everything. But, it’s actually your subconscious mind (the place your beliefs have been stored) that’s in charge, even though it behaves like a small and easily convinced child. We can make this seriously work in our favour. Since our subconscious can be moulded, we can change the beliefs that it holds onto. Turn the monologue in your head into a dialogue, notice what you tell yourself, question where it might have come from and then take a stab at making it sound like something that can work in your favour. Make these statements reflect whatever your idea of love is.
"PLEASE BE QUIET, I'M MEDITATING"
What I have come to realize as the key to cultivating self-love is consistent meditation. There is no higher quality, quality time to be spent with yourself than through time dedicated to being totally and completely alone. It has only been through meditation that I have been able to feel connected to more than my mind and physical body, making dreaming big feel a lot more like creating my future. It is in this state we can forgive ourselves, take responsibility for our lives and fight fear back with an abundance of opportunity.
The only person you really need to worry about impressing and making time for this Valentine’s Day is you. No one can tell you just how to make that time really worth your while the way that you can. So get quiet and listen. You’re on your way to getting to the good stuff.