Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate the one you love, traditionally speaking. Generally, it’s a day to shower your life partner with gifts and to treat yourselves to a special outing. Hence, on this day, you to tell the world how much you love and adore each other.

Carole Blackburn - Life and Wellness Coach

Self-Love: Your Greatest Gift to YOU.

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate the one you love, traditionally speaking. Generally, it’s a day to shower your life partner with gifts and to treat yourselves to a special outing. Hence, on this day, you to tell the world how much you love and adore each other. However, just as I am sure there are many of you who love February 14th, there are also many of you who probably don’t care for the day… It’s just another day.

Love Sees the Loveable

Coming from the perspective of a single woman in her forties, previously married and in other long-term relationships, my opinion on this day may or may not resonate well with many. In short, over the last few years I have learned to be less concerned with the tradition that I need to be in a romantic relationship, and to care more about how to love ME!

First of all, we need to all celebrate love every day. Sure, it’s not always possible to buy flowers or candy, or to book a dinner reservation at the hottest place in town every single day. But just the gift of loving someone or being loved, is in itself worth being grateful for. Maybe it’s not a special someone you call your sweetheart. Maybe it’s your child(ren), or a close and trusted friend. Perhaps it’s the love for your parents. Love sees no gender, status, age, relational connection. Ultimately, love only sees the beauty of the person you hold close to your heart, without judgement or conditions.

We all have poured our heart out to those we love the most. We use words and actions. Sometimes it’s the way we take a moment to tell them how wonderful they are or by holding their hand. Also, we have all felt that love back in some way, i.e. as a hug, or a text that made you smile in the middle of your crazy day. All of us crave that sense of belonging. Everyone is born with the ability to love, and to be loved. This is an innate desire that we all have in common. Regardless of where you are from or the colour of your skin, the human race is bonded by love. However, our experiences shapes our view on love and how we accept, reject and express love.

Love is Kind

Now, imagine for a moment that you are looking at your reflection in the mirror. Take a long look at yourself from the top of your head down. What do you see? What is the chatter in your mind saying? Are you showering yourself with love or are you noticing imperfections? Are you saying “YOU LOOK AMAZING?” or “You could stand to lose a few pounds?”

The person staring back at you is critically important. You are the only person who truly knows who you are, from your deepest thoughts, your life experiences, your hurts and pains, to your successes and joy. There is NO ONE who knows you like you do.

The biggest question I ask is, why are we so hard on ourselves and have a hard time loving who we are?

I can only share with you my own experience on how I learned (and am still learning) to truly love myself. It wasn’t until I was really all on my own after my divorce. That is when I realized just how much I was not so in love with who I was. I was very hard on myself – a critic and judge. My self-talk, the voice in my head, was negative and harsh at times. I was quick to point out my faults, and not recognize my unique traits. I shot down any compliment from anyone because they had to be lying. Honestly, it was exhausting living like that. I had no energy, and no desire to live my best life. It felt like I had cinder blocks holding me down.

Love is Unconditional

But I knew this was unhealthy. It was a choice to cut out all of the external noise, and to really spend time alone with myself. It was time to consciously make the effort to love myself just the same way as I wanted to be loved by someone else. For that matter, I needed to love myself the same way I desired to love someone else. I literally decided I do not want to be lonely anymore, and who best to work on an everlasting relationship with (other than my children) than ME?? What a revelation! It was like a light went off in my head.

If I want to be the best version of myself to attract the right person in my life, then I needed to work on loving who I was. I needed to dig in deep, figure out who I truly was, and work on making her shine. So, I started to tell myself how worthy I am. Still, I have pep talks with myself to remind me that I can do anything I put my mind to. My reflection in the mirror became less about my imperfections, and more about recognizing my accomplishments, and learning from my failures.

What Do You See?

The way we view ourselves is the way we interpret how the world sees us. If you are having a hard time with confidence and struggle with self-esteem, then your actions and thoughts will follow that. Your mind is POWERFUL and influences the person you are. If you can love another person with all your heart, then aren’t you worth doing the same for yourself? Imagine how much more you can grow as a person if you gave yourself that opportunity to shower yourself with love and affection.

Choose kind and thoughtful words to describe yourself. Be happy enough to stay home on a Saturday night by yourself as you would be if you were out on a date. Imagine what you could share with the world if you projected your self-love? Gratitude, confidence, adventure to stretch who you are, acceptance of the unique person you are, self-discovery, forgiveness. Imagine how many you can inspire around you just by being in love with your number one: YOU.

It’s not an easy journey to start on, but one worth taking. If you need help in making that discovery, and want some guidance on learning how to love yourself better, then I encourage you to email me at: [email protected] or call me at 613-297-2925. Start on your journey to self-discovery and the greatest gift of all: Self-Love.