I love you. We have all heard this phrase before. We understand the emotion behind it and the deep complexity of its meaning.
Maybe you hear this from a spouse, a family member, or on a soap opera. It is common. But why do we struggle to say it to ourselves? Men and women worldwide find it difficult to love themselves. On a day that celebrates love, many people feel lonely and unloved. No one should feel that way. Even if you have no one in your life, you still have yourself. And often times, life will remind you that you do not have much else. You are such a gift to be treasured. That is why, I urge you to find comfort in yourself. Fall in love this Valentine’s Day with the person who has always been there for you.
For myself, the first step of a big task was to just be okay with myself. Nobody is perfect. Many people are convinced that they will be okay with themselves after they lose weight or change something or become, “better.” But there is no better time than now. And no matter how much you change or stay the same, you are the perfect person to love.
Another step is putting your needs first. That may sound harsh, but most people sacrifice their own happiness for others. And that is fine sometimes. However if you do that all the time, you will end up unhappy. Your wellbeing is just as important as the wellbeing of others. Since childhood, we are taught not to be selfish. And that is a good lesson. But it is important to realize that putting your needs first is not selfish; it is necessary. If you can be okay with yourself and put your needs first sometimes, that is so significant. It is everything.
Once you are in that mindset, you will find yourself happier. You can do tons of little things to improve your relationship with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself when you slip up. Have fun watching sappy love movies on your own. Do not be afraid of facing the world alone.
This February, buy yourself some flowers and a box of chocolates. Say those three magic words and love yourself.
Bailey Pace, LBSPY #74. February 2016.