Happy Valentine’s Day!
I know today is either a fun holiday or the worst day ever to some of you. Some of you fall into the camp of date nights, red roses, chocolates, and cheesy cards. Others fall into the category of I-hate-everything-about-this-stupid-made-up-holiday. I have never been super-crazed about Valentine’s Day, but I have nothing against it either.
Really, any holiday that’s an excuse to make cupcakes and eat candy is a good holiday in my book. 😉 I made these cupcakes for my office today. Not really because I like the holiday but because everyone can use a pink cupcake on Friday, right?
Regardless of what your opinion is on today, here’s something you should all be able to relate to: loving yourself. I know the holiday today is typically about romantic love between two people, but what about the love between you, yourself, and I? Does it even exist? This isn’t a new topic by any means, but how often do we really take time to love ourselves? And what does this even mean?
For me, loving myself is a territory of my life I typically neglect. I get so consumed by my work life, keeping up with life’s demands, chores, meal planning, what I’m doing this weekend, how I spend my money, what’s on my mind, the seven books I’m reading, social engagements, laundry, and the list goes on… By the time I get home from a long day at work, my mind is in get-ready-for-tomorrow & keep-everything-orderly mode that the thought of taking time for myself has little chance to even enter my mind.
I typically go to bed exhausted, my mind still racing, and then become resentful from the fact that I didn’t take any time for me. I get stuck in the cyclical trap of thinking that doing more equals being happier and more fulfilled. But really, it’s just exhausting at times. A clean home and a perfectly put together outfit for the next day is nice, but not when it costs me all the free time I have.
Taking time to nourish & love myself is sadly & wrongly on the bottom of my to do list. I’ve bought into societies lie of work, work, work and no rest. I’ve put myself last because I’ve believed that in doing so, I’ll be happier someday, even though that time never exists.
I am not perfect, but I’ve learned that loving myself needs to be a priority. Between all we juggle in life, people and standards have made a lot of women believe that taking time for themselves – away from their husbands, children, and demands – is selfish and wrong. That’s a very dangerous lie to believe, though.
Today, regardless of if you’re receiving gifts and adoration from someone who loves you or if you’re loathing the chocolate and bouquets, know this: some of the most important love you can receive is not from Valentine’s Day things or from other people; it’s from yourself. Love from others is important and makes us feel good for sure. But how far can that love even go if you don’t first love yourself?
Some practical ways that I’ve shown myself love lately have been by…
- getting myself Starbucks yesterday as a treat (something I rarely do!)
- I didn’t pressure myself to blog or have an online presence this week (something I am usually very hard on myself about keeping up with) due to all the packing I’ve needed to do to prepare to move into our new place.
- Because of packing, my apartment has been in disaster mode. Normally, I would look at my house in disgust and call myself a failure for not having it looking and feeling perfect. I’ve completely allowed myself to let go of that this week instead of wear myself out by being obsessed over what I can’t change right now.
- Lighting a candle to signal that it’s time to relax. For whatever reason, candles relax me and show me that this is my time to cherish and savor.
- Despite having a lot left on my to do list and feeling overwhelmed, I opted for a bath and to read a book for the night instead of slaving away at things.
Maybe these things don’t resonate with you. Or maybe you’re a lot like me and they do. Either way, we all need love in our own way. Whatever works for you is great. It doesn’t have to look anything like what I’ve described for myself.
Challenge for Today: no matter what your relationship status is, be okay with where you are now. I have heard too many women put themselves down or show total discontentment because of what their relationship status is or isn’t. I know I am married now, but trust me – I wasn’t always, and I have been there.
Don’t waste away your years now pining after all you don’t have, whether that is a husband, children, a different home, or a different body. Love yourself & love your life today. Not tomorrow or when it “feels right.” But right now.