What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word Valentines’ Day?
For some people, February 14 is a day of flowers, chocolates, cuddles, and all of that romance. Everyone who is happily in love will roam the streets of the cities hand in hand, dining at expensive restaurants, and sealing the night with a kiss.
There are also those individuals who know Valentines’ Day as Single Awareness Day aka SAD. They’re not big fans of the day because they are either heartbroken or bitter. Some of them are singles who are bitter about others who are in a relationship while others had just experienced a breakup and renounce the happiness of February 14.
These are the typical thoughts we associate with Valentines’ Day and to be honest, there’s nothing wrong with them.
In my opinion, however, I think we can look at this so-called holiday of love in a different light.
Instead of romantic love, why don’t we associate self love with Valentines’ Day?
Love Yourself Before You Love Others
Most people associate love with romance and selfless acts. If you truly love a person, you will give them your all.
But here’s a thought: how sure are you that you have that all?
Before you love others, it is important that you love yourself first. This isn’t about being a narcissist; it’s about prioritizing your basic physical and emotional needs before you prioritize the needs of others. As much as we’d like to think we are good on our own, there is always room for improvement.
Loving yourself is also a form of personal encouragement. Some people are incapable of loving others because their low self-esteem interferes with how they handle relationship (psychology says so). They think they are unworthy of receiving love from good people. As a result, they tend to become less optimistic about the relationship, causing them to expect rejection and always monitor their partner’s behavior to see signs of it.
“Love yourself!” might sound like an easy advice. It’s one of my personal favorites, which I often tell clients and friends. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.
Why Self-Acceptance Is Impossible for Others
Why do others find it so difficult to love themselves?
As mentioned, some people just don’t have faith in themselves. Their low self-esteem results in a few personal beliefs that hinder them from achieving their full potential. Beliefs such as “You’ll never be good enough” or “You will always fall short” discourage them from stepping out of their comfort zones and discovering other better things about themselves.
Lack of Affirmation
There are other individuals who rarely received affirmation for their talents, skills, and good deeds. Their family, friends, and other loved ones didn’t validate their efforts as often as they like. As a result, they think they will never meet anyone’s standard, including theirs.
A person’s environment while growing up has a big impact on how they view themselves. A child’s self-esteem starts with the parents. People who grew up with parents who constantly showered them with affection and affirmation tend to be more confident compared to those who didn’t. Children absorb their parents’ reaction, so those who grew up in families who complained and called them out more often might think lowly of themselves.
In some cases, people grow up with families that are not loving or expressive. Hugs and kisses are strange to them since their immediate family wasn’t physically affectionate. As a result, they too might have a hard time becoming expressive.
It’s only natural to doubt yourself every once in a while. But if it keeps you from loving yourself, it can be dangerous.
First, you’ll never learn to appreciate yourself. Failure to accept your pros and cons will always put you down, which leads to you putting others down — others being your family, friends, and significant other. Remember: the people around you are affected by your mood. Depression due to lack of self-love can also affect the people around you negatively.
Also, it will be more difficult for you to love others. As mentioned, people incapable of accepting themselves will find it hard to believe that others can accept them. You’ll always doubt them, expecting them to reject you at any second. Lack of faith in your partner will result in troubles in your relationship.
Why Self-Love Matters
Everyone needs love and you probably have that tendency to focus your energy on loving others. But where does your love come from?
It doesn’t come from a significant other. It comes from you.
It’s important that you have something to fuel your life with love without relying on other people to do it for you. This is where self-love comes in.
Self-love will not only help you fill those gaps other people may leave, but it also offers the following positives:
Greater Life Satisfaction
Appreciating yourself helps you appreciate life better. When you have better self-confidence and know that you are fulfilling your life’s purpose, you have a more positive attitude towards the future.
Better Mental Health
Self-love keeps you from getting lost in your own head and drowning in a pool of negativity. Resolving mental health concerns is more straightforward for people who love themselves. Individuals who struggle with addiction or other mental health concerns need to develop a positive relationship with themselves.
Reduction in Stress
Loving yourself means giving yourself a break from stress. Without those last-minute doubts about yourself, you can complete projects minus the worries.
How Can You Love Yourself?
I’ve been in a place where I struggled with self-love. By God’s grace, I’m getting better at appreciating who I am today.
Here are some tips to help you:
Invest in your spiritual growth. I believe this should be a priority. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Matthew 10:30-31 speaks a bit about God’s love for you.
One of the best ways to love yourself is to invest in Him. Let the Lord lead you to the right people who can help you mature in His Word and path. Apart from the regular Sunday worship services, attend regular Bible studies or support groups. The latter is important because it always helps to gain insight from people who are going through similar struggles as yours.
Invest in your personal growth. Do you know what you’re good at? If you do not yet, it’s time to start discovering.
Learn more about your talents and harness them all. List down what you think your strengths are and take personal growth courses. It’s important to know your passion and how you plan on achieving it. Once you determine your talents, attend personal growth courses.
Invest in your appearance. Everyone is beautiful inside in and out. Nothing in you is a mistake. That is our starting point.
Still, you need to take care of yourself physically so you can be more confident in who you are. I don’t recommend copying somebody else’s style. Instead, invest on your personal style.
Start by learning more about your personal style and how it suits your profession and lifestyle. Determine which color, clothes, and accessories will enhance your appearance. Practice good grooming habits, update your hairstyle — get that new look for a new feel.
This Valentines’ Day, it’s okay to show love to others, but don’t forget to show love to yourself first. Also, don’t just do it this Valentines’ Day. Appreciate who you are as often as you can.
Radiance Image Consultancy can help you with that. We want you to shine and appreciate yourself better. Discover and develop yourself with our personal development and professional image programs and workshops.
Be extraordinary, inside and out. Call us today!