Do you know that the most important person that you can ever love isn’t your spouse, romantic partner or even your mother & father. It isn’t even your child. The most important person you can ever love is yourself.
Unless you are capable of loving yourself, you can never truly love another. When you know what it takes to fill your heart, and you choose to give that to yourself, then you are capable of being open enough to listen and understand to the needs of others.
Love is not about giving, or losing, yourself to another person- that is martyrdom. Love, the strongest force on earth, is something that you and everybody else on this planet, is hardwired to feel and wants to experience. When love is healthy, you can give freely and you can receive freely. True love is unconditional.
But if you cannot give freely to yourself, you cannot freely receive from yourself and that means you love yourself conditionally. Conditional love (characterized by ‘if you do or be this, THEN I’ll love you’) doesn’t feel good. Unfortunately however, it’s how a lot of people love themselves.
If you recognize yourself in:
• I’ll feel good once I’ve lost weight/toned up/sorted out these wrinkles
• I’ll sit down once all of this is finished (even though I’m exhausted)
• Whatever you want to do is fine (even though I’d prefer if we did this)
Then you might benefit from a little more self-love this year.
To boost your self-love this year I suggest you:
1. Pay attention to your thoughts throughout today and identify how kind you are to yourself. (Please note- a lot of people speak incredibly conditionally and unkindly to themselves without realizing it!)
2. Pick one area of your life that you recognize would benefit from genuine love and kindness and focus there. It could be how you speak to yourself when you are exercising, are around food or even around the kids. Whichever area you choose doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you start.
Self-love is self-care and self-care is being able to meet and fulfill your needs willingly and with kindness. Perhaps you do this well or perhaps you don’t. Everyone can benefit from the increased feel good chemicals that flood the body when you genuinely love yourself.
So whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with your partner or by yourself, be with a loved one: and make sure at least one of those loved ones is yourself!
*This article originally appeared in February 17 issue of peninsular living.