Love Yourself – And Have More to Offer Others
Valentine’s Day has traditionally been a way to celebrate romantic love and show appreciation to your partner. It has been celebrated all over the world for hundreds of years. While it is a beautiful thing to acknowledge that important person in your life, the commitment to your relationship and the joy of sharing love, it is also important to remember to cultivate the ability to love yourself. Many people both single and in relationships don’t make a conscious effort to love and appreciate themselves.
I would say that the majority of people that I come across in my practice find it challenging to show appreciation, love or care for themselves – or even are willing to put their own needs near the top of their list of priorities! This adds to the stress already present in day-to-day living.
The more you love yourself, the more you will care for yourself. The more you care for yourself, the more you have to offer OTHERS.
I feel that Valentine’s Day can always serve as a reminder to stop and think about ways in which you can love and appreciate yourself – not just on that day, but on any day.
Practice the Metta Meditation
Metta meditation is based on the idea of connecting with loving kindness for all beings including yourself. Traditionally, you start with saying a loving phrase to yourself (out loud or in your mind). Such a phrase could be:
May you be happy. May you be well. May your heart be filled with loving kindness.
Once you feel at ease with the meditation of sending love to yourself, you can continue the meditation focusing on people you love – friends, groups of people, the world, etc. If you really want to challenge yourself, you can even focus on sending love to someone with whom you have conflict or challenge. You will be surprised at how well it works to create a sense of ease! But it all starts with first finding a sense of ease with sending love to yourself. Continue this meditation until you feel a great sense of calm, peace and ease.
Here is a great video to practice the meditation if you feel you need to be guided through it:
Don’t Forget the Simple Things
If meditation does not interest you, there are so many easy ways that you can show appreciation for yourself! Self-appreciation is more about creating the time and space, no matter how little, to have a sense of peace in your life.
- Draw a relaxing bath several times a week
- Get a massage once or twice a month
- Drop in on a weekly yoga class
- Say no to that which causes you to be overcommitted
- Allow yourself to not feel guilty about going to breakfast or lunch by yourself and reading a magazine quietly
- Take a nice walk in the park alone or with a friend
So on this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to think about how you feel and are currently caring about yourself. If you need to improve in this area, make a note of things you can do this year to get in touch with celebrating YOU. It may be as simple as remembering to put yourself a little higher on your to-do list! Trust me…everyone who loves you also wants you to take care of yourself too!