Let's talk about self love

by - February 14, 2021

Envelopes with hearts, and hearts against a pink background. Text reading redefining valentine's day, self love.

It is Valentine's day today. I have seen a fair amount of posts surrounding Valentine's day and the typical how to find the perfect gifts etc. But before you can be happy in any relationship, you have to know how to love yourself. That is why I wanted to talk a little bit about self-love this Valentine's day. It feels somewhat cringey and unoriginal talking about this, but I think it is an important one. 

Valentine's day poses a pressure to single people to be in a relationship. The pressure to find love externally. But, it seems to ignore the role of love in a key relationship - the first relationship you have and the one that you will have for life. The one you have with yourself. It is ironic considering that a relationship is is unlikely to go smoothly if you don't love yourself first. 

Self-love, however, is not straight forward or easy. It is complicated and you will have moments where you will question it. It is sometimes an up and down thing and generally, in society, we are taught not to love ourselves for the way we are. So many businesses profit from our insecurities, such as the beauty industry.

I used to see self-love as something that would come when I looked a certain way or achieved a certain ideal. Once I reached a certain ideal, then I would be happy with myself, then I could love myself. I would feel more comfortable in my own skin. However, if there is anything I have learnt and has particularly been emphasised now is that reaching the next step or achieving the next goal will never make you feel content with yourself. You will always be striving to reach an invisible bar when you view it that way. You could always be more, do more. Loving yourself is loving you just for the way you are now. Loving the growth, the discovery of self-expression, knowing that you will sometimes get it wrong and forgiving yourself because you are human. 

Self-love comes from within. Anything you achieve complements it, but does not solely give you it. You will never get validation from an external source. Whether that be a grade or any material possession. It is a journey that starts inwards and translates externally. It will not happen overnight - you need to spend time working out what you stand for, do things for you, spend time working to become more confident, and avoid judging yourself so harshly. Not comparing yourself to anyone because you are unique. This Valentines, rather than think about whether you are single or not, let's use it to speak to ourselves more kindly. Even if it is just being slightly less demanding with ourselves.  A small step is still progress. 

A reminder in case you needed it: you are doing great even just to be living through such uncertain and difficult times.

Keep me caffeinated so I can write more 🙂:

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