St. Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to love and lovers. As I was sitting down with my morning pages and cup of coffee on Valentine’s Day, I became inspired by this holiday of love. I found myself thinking about the many different aspects of love. There is the love that is shared when two people care deeply about one another. Then there’s the love we have for friends and family. I think of the love I have for my dogs, Lucy and Sullivan. And think about all those times when we say things like, “Oh I just love ______________.” Fill in the blank. The possibilities are endless, right?
Then I found myself thinking, “How often, if ever, do we think about love for ourselves?” I can honestly say I’ve said those words, or even thought them, very few times in my life. In fact, it never occurs to me until I read an article about self-love or hear one of my favorite pod casters talking about self-love on their show. On those occasions, I find myself looking into a mirror, as they suggest and saying, “I love you” only to quickly forget about it within a day or two. It always feels so awkward and uncomfortable. Go ahead, try it. Go to a mirror, look yourself in the eyes and say, “I love you.”
It was awkward, right? I’ve heard that it gets easier, but I’ve never stuck with it long enough to find out. So, I wonder, “Why not?” Do I just hate myself? No, that’s not it. I know I have plenty of room for improvement, but I don’t hate myself. Hopefully no one reading this article feels that way about themselves. (If you do find yourself feeling that way, it’s very important for you to find someone to help you navigate those emotions as soon possible.) Personally, I think I don’t follow through on looking in the mirror and saying I love you because it just feels uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is something most of us don’t like. Having thought about this whole “self-love” thing has made me consider what I might do to develop the habit of loving myself. I decided that writing just might be a better avenue for me to begin developing this new habit. So, here is my proposal:
For the remainder of the month, instead of standing in front of the mirror, feeling all awkward and uncomfortable, I’m going to make self-love part of my daily planning/journaling. If you haven’t been in the habit of journaling, there’s no time like the present. Even if all you do is set a timer for ten minutes and write affirmations, that’s a great way to start.
So, for the remainder of the month I will simply add one of my favorite affirmations from Louise Hay to my daily writing. I will write it and I will say it, “I love and accept myself exactly as I am.”
By adding this to my already existing daily habit of writing (aka morning pages) I’m more likely to follow through with it. Even if you don’t have a daily habit of writing, this is something so simple that you can do. Get yourself a little notebook or journal or even a single sheet of paper to start. Each day write the date and then write, “I love and accept myself exactly as I am.” Perhaps you might say these words out loud to yourself as well. Let’s do that together for the next two weeks and see if that’s enough time to build up the courage to look in the mirror and say it. If saying those words to yourself in the mirror feels right, then, please say it.
Let me know if you are ready to join me in professing love and acceptance of yourself for the next two weeks. We’ll check in at the end of the month to see how it’s going.
Next time, I’ll talk about why self-love is so important in the first place.