Regardless of whether you’re in a relationship, or single, you should vow to celebrate yourself this Valentine’s Day. Learning to love yourself is something that is so important, but often overlooked. As much as I detest the Hallmark coined holiday, it’s as good a day as any to dedicate to seeking love— from within.
I see this all the time, people settling because they are unhappy with themselves, or even worse, dulling someone else’s sparkle because they don’t appreciate their own. I am a firm believer that in order to truly give and receive unconditional love and happiness, you have to be able to find it within yourself first. When you’re constantly looking for something (or someone) to make you happy, it won’t come. It starts with you. So, what does it actually mean to love yourself?
It means that you’re completely content with being alone, because you’re happy with where you’re at. That you’re comfortable with your flaws and accepting of your faults. It means that you don’t need someone to complete you, but instead you want someone to share your already fulfilled life with. Loving yourself is learning to listen to and trust your gut. It’s looking in the mirror and appreciating what you see. It’s knowing when to say no unapologetically, and when to put yourself first. It’s learning to be alone, without feeling lonely. It means that you see your own worth, and you don’t need to be around people who don’t. It’s owning your independence. That you have the strength to know that you deserve nothing less than the best. It means that you recognize that you’re good enough just as you are.
I know that that doesn’t always come easy.
I am pretty lucky in that I’ve always been a very self-loving, confident person. I can be really happy in a relationship, but also super content on my own. Even on the darkest days, I can acknowledge the struggles, but find the beauty in my day to day life. I think the key is being able to allow yourself the grace to be less than perfect, investing in yourself as much as you invest in others and be willing to feel all of the emotions without feeling weak.
Start today, and start small. Treat yourself to a pedicure, a glass of wine (or a whole bottle), or a new lipstick. Do something for yourself that makes you feel good on the inside. Make a list of all the things that make you happy, and do one of those things without giving it a second thought. Take yourself out to dinner at your favorite restaurant. Buy yourself the damn flowers.
Happy Valentine’s Day, babes.