Updated: Feb 14
I am one of the biggest romantics you will ever meet. My partner and I have hearts all over the house and I have many a heart tattoo. And yet..
I am not a fan of Valentine's Day.
In fact, FUCK Valentine’s Day!
A greeting card company makes up a holiday so that people in relationships feel pressured to buy things for each other and people who are not in relationships feel isolated or shit about themselves. Fuck that!
A few years ago I noticed throughout my social media that single people felt more alone and people in relationships felt pressured to 'get it right' or let down when they didn't get the 'right thing'. So painful for an arbitrary, made up day.
Look, if Valentine's Day is fun for you, then by all means, enjoy it. I'm all for celebrating love. I just don't like when people use it as a tool to beat themselves up with or as a way to measure whether they're succeeding in the relationship realm or not.
Whether you’re in a relationship or not, the person you should be celebrating love with, Every. Single. Day. is yourself. Without proper self-love in place, there is no other sustainable relationship.
Self-love is the foundation for any other relationship.
Self-love is the garden in which we grow the fruits we can share with another.
Self-love, self-awareness and self-confidence. Without these any other relationship becomes a struggle, a falsehood, a sinking ship, a lie.
The Human Wound
The human wound, no matter where you’re from or how you were raised, is ‘I’m not enough’ or ‘I’m not good enough'. On a cosmic level that’s because we’ve forgotten that we ARE Love, Source, God, Grace, the All-That-Is. We’ve forgotten that we are waves of the ocean of consciousness. We’ve forgotten that we ARE divinity and we are always trying to wake ourselves up. To re-member. To become whole again.
On top of that, our society reinforces this perceived separation every chance it gets. It tells us we need to be thinner, richer, smarter, whiter and so on. For many reasons, we hand over our power to something outside of us and believe, even more deeply, that we’re not enough unless we get/do/be/have the things someone outside of us (who has also forgotten) tells us we need.
Lack of self-love strips us of our power
Learning to love yourself if a practice. It takes time to build the self-love muscles. Imagine going to the gym every day to get strong and build muscles only to leave the gym and be told that muscles are bad and wrong. This is sort of what it’s like trying to build self-love muscles. We are constantly submerged in a society that tells us that to love ourselves is selfish and bad. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare. Audre Lorde
A foundation of love
Let me tell you something.
Without a foundation of self-love, there is no other love. If you don’t love yourself, if you don’t feel your worth, your value, then you are always a beggar for love. You are always coming to another half full, begging them to fill you up. When you learn to fill your own love cup you are never a beggar to love. You are rich and full and abundant and it is sustainable because it comes from within.
Self-love takes practice
Since we live in a world that wants to tear us down, that doesn’t value self-love, in fact, needs us to NOT love ourselves to sell us shit we don’t need, self-love is really an act of rebellion.
And it’s needed now more than ever. On your road to self-love there will be obstacles. Some days will be harder than others. That’s ok. Be gentle with yourself. Love yourself through the difficult days. Extra self-love is needed on those days.
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. Lucille Ball
Here are 10 ways you can practice self-love:
1. Look into your own eyes in a mirror and say I love you. Say it a few times. See how it feels. Don’t worry if it feels odd or uncomfortable at first. Do it anyway. Open your heart a little bit and say it again. If it feels awkward try again the next day. Do it every day until it feels really good.
2. Listen to your body’s needs. Your body is giving you information all of the time. What is it telling you? What is it asking for? Does it need more exercise? A breath of fresh air? Would it like different food or to go dancing? Often you know very well what your body is telling you and you override it. Don’t do that. Love your body.
3. Take yourself on a date. It can be fancy or not. It can be a daytime date or a night time date. You can go out where there are other people or go somewhere you can be alone. Do it with the intention to spend time with yourself. Get to know yourself a bit better. Enjoy yourself.
4. Mind how you talk to yourself! Your words cast spells. Everything you think and say about yourself creates a vibration that goes into your body, your cells, your DNA and actually shifts your physiology and therefore your reality.
5. Find at least one thing you appreciate about yourself every day. Ideally write these appreciations down somewhere. Keep them in a special journal or notebook. Then on days you are struggling to appreciate yourself you can look back at ones you’ve written on easier days. You can write lofty things such as ‘I appreciate that I’m kind and generous’ or simple things like ‘I appreciate that today I’m still breathing’ or ‘I appreciate that I make great toast’. It really doesn’t matter so long as you really mean it.
6. Get outside in nature! Whether you consciously feel it or not, being out in nature resets your energy system. Go for a walk in the woods or along a stream. Breathe in some fresh air. Get up close to some trees and feel how deep their roots go. Allow your roots to go deep too. Stand with your back up against a tree and lean in, ask for some love or just feel it’s strength.
7. Soak in a high vibe bath. Put some Epsom salts or essential oils or flower petals in a freshly drawn bath. Light some candles. Yes, I know it sounds clichéd, but it really works. Sink into the hot water and take some deep breaths. Focus on your out breath and let shit go! Bathe with the intention of letting go and relaxing or of soaking in the magic of whatever you’ve added to the bath.
8. Read something that makes you feel good. Just one paragraph or page will do. Read some poetry or a self help book or something funny. Anything that makes you feel good, that opens your heart, that reminds you that you are an amazing being.
9. Practice sitting in silence for a few minutes every day. Sit or lie somewhere comfortable and set a timer - even 2-5 minutes will do. You might find when you start this practice that your mind thinks it’s time to get busy and throw thoughts at you. That’s fine. Just don’t pay them any attention. Let them float past like clouds in the sky. Let them go as quickly as they arrive. After a while they will stop trying to get your attention.
10. Masturbate with consciousness and presence. Be mindful of your intentions when you do. Whatever you are feeling or holding in your mind as you raise arousal will get increased. If you are feeling shame or guilt or fear, then those will get reinforced. If you are feeling love for yourself, if your heart is open and you’re masturbating as a path to self pleasure, then you will be reinforcing your value and worth.
The practice of self-love is absolutely revolutionary. Please practice it every day, in whatever way you can.