Valentine’s day is all about celebrating love. Are you feeling the love today? Whether that love is between you and your significant other or the growing trend of Galentine’s Day, it’s a day that can be filled with so many special moments. There was nothing better than being in elementary school and carrying all of your Valentine’s Day cards and candy into school and passing them out to your friends. It was always so much fun. It made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to receive a bag full of cards and treats at the end of the day with sayings like “you’re sweet” or “I think you rock.” This always brought me so much happiness.
And then you get a little older and the day starts to change. Maybe you are now in a relationship and receive flowers or jewelry. Or better yet, chocolate. You go on a date. You feel super in love. It’s a day where romance is in the air and you can feel it everywhere you go. Or maybe this day is something you dread, which used to be how I felt about it. I thought it was a way for the universe to remind me in the biggest way that I was single. But lucky for me, the trend of galentine’s day started to swoop in and was something I could focus on.
This year, Valentine’s Day really snuck up on me. A year ago today was the first Valentine’s Day I spent single so it for sure stung a little bit this time last year. I was kind of bitter if I’m being honest. But this year I hadn’t put too much weight into the day and what it meant. When I realized it was happening this week, I started to think about why no one ever talks about celebrating themselves on Valentine’s Day.
Stick with me. This is the one holiday purely dedicated to love and more specifically, dedicated to showering other people with love. Isn’t it kind of ironic that there isn’t really a focus on self love and celebrating yourself on this day? I’m not expecting to find a card at Target saying ‘I love you’ and addressed to myself but we should talk more about what it means to truly love and appreciate yourself. I think we can all agree that the relationship we have with ourselves is often times put on the back burner. But in my opinion, it is one of the most important relationships you can have. The love you have for yourself lays the foundation for what the rest of your relationships will look like. So it’s so important to give that relationship some TLC.
Think of it like this. When you are in love you want to express that to the other person in any way you can. Most ways are through words or actions. Since I already talk about self care (A LOT) I figured I have a lot of the action part down. So I thought, should I write myself a love letter? Which is actually kind of hard. I stared at the screen for a long time just wondering where to start. And wondering even what to say. There are things I love about myself but there are also times I am really hard on myself. Some days I’m disappointed in my body and how I am feeling. Some days I’m frustrated with my anxiety and the moments where I doubt myself. And some days I just feel down and don’t give myself the love I deserve. So where do you go with that? How do you pull yourself out of moments of darkness and remember to love yourself?
I think the key is to start with a super vague approach and write down all the things you appreciate about yourself and go from there. For me, I’m proud of the strength I’ve had through the last year. On days where I really reflect on the journey I’ve gone through, I am really stinkin’ proud. I pulled myself out of a lot of dark clouds and kept pushing forward. This girl is a fighter. In every moment where I’ve felt down and low, I’ve always kept pushing through. Even when it didn’t feel like it I can look back and see that I never gave up. I can be really proud about that because that is one thing about myself that has never changed.
I appreciate the journey I’ve been on. Is it easy? For sure not but it’s molding me into the person I am meant to be. I think we all go through periods where we just aren’t in love with who we are. Moments full of insecurities and frustrations where we can be really hard on ourselves. But in the process of learning to truly love myself and truly accept every part of me, it has totally shifted my ideals on what I expect in any other relationship. And I’m truly thankful for that. The old me put up with a lot. And that was because I thought others were more deserving of my love than I was. But through loving my journey and loving myself I’ve realized so much about what I expect from others. What I will and will not put up with. And that’s thanks to self love.
As I try to look ahead at my future and the life I see for myself, I’m excited to continue to get to know who I am. I think this is one of the first times in my life that I’ve been uber self aware. I’m trying to change the things I don’t love about myself and grow the things that make me “me.” So in doing this, you have to be super honest. You can’t hide from yourself. It is so important to be super real with where you are at in your self love journey and how to make changes that will make you the best version of yourself.
I hope you have felt so much love on this day from those around you and from most importantly, yourself. I encourage you to write down a few things you really love about yourself and areas where you see opportunities for growth. It might be hard to start this but I promise it will teach you so much about yourself. And after that, celebrate this day the best way you know how. Spend it with loved ones or spend it doing some next level self care. I’m going to spend it doing a little bit of both: spending my night with one of my best friends watching love after lockup and ordering takeout. Happy Valentine’s Day!