I have always loved Valentine’s Day. I love to love and have felt this way for as long as I can remember. I still remember celebrating big in grade three, purchasing a giant tootsie roll and full sized card to express my deep profound love for my crush. The card had two socks on them, stating that they were a perfect match. I guess I have been a hopeless romantic my entire life: only when it came to loving other people though.
My relationship with myself was always a little more complicated than that. I could find temporary acceptance and admiration for myself, if all conditions were met, all goals were set, it wasn’t mercury retrograde, or a leap year. My on-again-off-again relationship with myself would make reality stars shake their heads.
Self-love was something I read a lot about, but never applied. Or I would get on a roll, and be kind to myself for a little while, until I inevitably made one tiny error somewhere along the line, then go back to being my own biggest critic.
On Christmas of 2014, my husband gave me a beautiful rose quartz necklace which he hoped would help me in my journey to self-love. It was so beautiful, and by some divine miracle I immediately felt guided to cultivate this much needed relationship with myself.
Just like any other relationship, it came with growing pains. I continued to do things that irritated my slowly-fading inner perfectionist, but she bit her tongue and refused to self-criticize. Tensions lowered, and I actually began finding things I liked about myself. I even saw a little humour in the ridiculous mistakes I was making, and almost found it endearing. Sparks were flying. Yes, maybe I can live with this person after all.
As I began to support myself and clean up my self talk, I flourished. Without the burden of perfectionism, I was free to chase my passions and dreams. The more authentic I began to act, the more reasons I found to love myself. My self-love began to multiply like bunny rabbits. My husband said I was finally beginning to see what he had seen all along.
In reality, I was kind of kick-ass. Sure I had flaws, an infinite list of them, but that was what made me who I was. The imperfections added character, and soon my relationship with myself was blossoming like never before. I felt like I had found a new best friend. One who was always there for me to cheer me on through the tough days, and celebrate in the good days.
My husband is a very romantic man, and my choice to be my own Valentine this year does not reflect on him in the least. The decision is based more on the fact that in all my years of Valentine’s Day festivities, I have never had a true sense of self-love, so I was never even considered to be my own Valentine.
But who could possibly be more deserving of my own love than myself? And the best part about self-love is that the more love I give myself, the more my heart overflows and pours into my external relationships. My relationships have grown, my creativity is surging, and life has completely transformed for the better.
For those reasons, I am celebrating my first year of full-fledged self-love with a Valentine’s Day date for myself: I’m ordering my favourite dinner, having a bubble bath, and I’m going to write myself a love letter explaining all the things I love about myself. After almost 30 years of being my own worst enemy, I have a lot of catching up to do, but I also have a lot to celebrate with this new loving relationship I’ve found within myself.
Oscar Wilde said “to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” and I propose we all do something today to cultivate this romance within ourselves. From this day forward let’s cherish ourselves, compliment ourselves, forgive ourselves quickly, admire our strengths and accept our weakness. Let’s vow to be our own Valentine on Feb 14th and every day after that.
I’m sending love and light to you beautiful souls, as we connect to ourselves on a deeper level. May we all find that treasure we have been seeking, deep within our own hearts.
Author Bio – L.K. Elliott is the author of the innovative self-help book, Confessions of an Ex Hot Mess, where she shares her message of personal growth and triumph over depression. With humor and relentless optimism, she encourages readers to create their own happily ever after. For more inspiration, check out her blog here, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.