Good morning, friends! If you haven’t yet, don’t forget that today is the last day to enter my giveaway for CORE Foods! It’s also Valentine’s Day, which is probably loved by some of you, dreaded by others, and completely meaningless to others still. I personally really love Valentine’s Day, but I also pretty much love all holidays. Give me an excuse to decorate, bake, or buy/make silly cards and I’m all over it.
After I wrote my post for Healthy Living Blogs for the February theme of Health Loves, I kept thinking about how happy I am to be healthy. It also started me thinking about my past relationships, both romantic and otherwise.
Although I admittedly still sometimes struggle with fully loving myself, I am leaps and bounds beyond where I used to be. When I didn’t love myself, I also didn’t think I was worthy of the love of others. This wasn’t a conscious thought for me, but it was evident in my behavior and who I chose to surround myself with.
Not all of my relationships prior to Joe were bad ones, that wouldn’t be fair to say, but they certainly weren’t all healthy either – some of them far from it. Even some of my friendships were with people who didn’t appreciate me and frankly didn’t treat me all that well. Luckily, as I learned to love myself I learned not to put up with these kind of people in my life.
After reading Erin’s post I was struck by how my love for myself has contributed so much to the way my relationship with Joe has grown. It also made me think of that saying, “You can’t love another until you love yourself.” I used to think that was the most ridiculous piece of wisdom because it serves, at least in part, to undermine people’s emotions. I have felt love, very real love, even when I hated the person I was. It isn’t the same as the love I feel now for Joe, but it was still a valid emotion.
What I think rings true about that piece of advice is the way your love for others changes when you love yourself and how worthy you feel for accepting the love of others.
When you love yourself, you realize that you’re worth being loved by someone who realizes how amazing you are. Someone who not only puts up with your quirks, but finds them endearing (well, most of them). Someone who won’t ask you to change who you are and celebrates the fact that the two of you have differences.
In the spirit of loving myself today I wanted to be as true to myself as possible. I feel like there is a general expectation for people to hate Valentine’s Day. People tend roll their eyes when an adult wears pink or red and admits to loving the day that celebrates love. Sure, it’s a Hallmark holiday and not everyone loves it. Still I do love it and when I considered not wearing red today to avoid the eye rolling, I realized that wouldn’t be very true to me. So here I am in a red sweater dress, fully welcoming all that is Valentine’s Day at the office.
I’m not suggesting that everyone should love or celebrate Valentine’s Day or that it should be the only day you show your love and appreciation to both yourself and others. What I am suggesting is that if you aren’t already to a place of loving yourself, use this Valentine’s Day as the starting point. Next year, when you look back at this Valentine’s Day, remember it as the day you took control of your life and really started to love and honor yourself.
Relationships may come and go, but you’re stuck with you forever. Wouldn’t life be a lot more enjoyable if you loved the person you are?
So today, and every day, do what makes you happy. Cut the people out of your life who bring you down and celebrate those who motivate and inspire you. Do something silly that makes you laugh (like cutting out paper hearts and making a homemade card for someone to brighten their day). Perform a random act of kindness. Let others know that they are loved. Remind yourself that you are too.
Being healthy and well is about more than exercising and eating right. Wellness is also about the mind and spirit. You may not be able to let go of every little flaw you have (trust me, I could pick that picture of me apart in a second), but it’s about letting go of the ones you can and focusing on the things you love about you.
Be your own Valentine today, you deserve to be loved.