Today, amidst all the froof and wooing and declarations of everlasting love, I dare you to do something totally wild: Be your own valentine.
That’s right. You. (And me.) I dare you to sit down and write yourself a letter that is for your eyes only. And in the letter, write a nice full page (or twenty) of all the things you love and admire about yourself. Don’t allow one word of criticism or self-deprecation. Be bold and brazen in your love.
Allow yourself to exaggerate if you feel so inclined (after all, we tend to do that with other people we love). Go ahead. It’s not that big of a deal and nobody has to know about it. You know you want to, but you probably don’t know that you should.
I’m giving you this idea because I noticed something about myself the other day that I think is very much a widespread epidemic these days. In a quiet moment, in between tasks, I realized that I gave myself a quick message. Something to the tune of, My gosh, you look crappy today. I looked in a mirror and I was totally right. Then later, in another quiet millisecond, I heard another quick word from deep inside, You’re so lazy. Look at all that needs to be done. I looked around and I was right. There was a lot that needed to be done, and I had no energy left.
And before I knew it, I began asking the little voice in my head its opinion about everything:
Do these jeans make my butt look big? Oh my. YES!
I’m never going to get organized, am I? Never! You’re a slob!
Nobody appreciates me, do they? Nope. Not now. Not ever.
I’m never going to lose these ten pounds, am I? I can’t stop eating. You disgust me.
Well, you get the idea. My conversations with myself were beginning to sound like those two old men from the Muppet Show.
So several days ago, I decided to stop. I took one of my many notebooks and I wrote three pages of good things about myself. As I was writing, I decided to get crazy and write good things about myself that weren’t even accurate. It became a list of everything I am and everything I hope to be. When I was done, I started to re-read it and totally cringed. Yeah, riiiiight. said the voice in my head.
“Shut up.” I said.
The next day I made a new, although shorter list.
And the next day another one.
And for some totally un-related reason, I found myself more chipper. More like myself.
And then when I had a quiet moment, after reaching for a candy that I didn’t need to eat, I stopped the voice in my head and thought, “I am stunningly beautiful.” And then I think I set the candy down. I don’t remember for sure, I was too busy blushing.
I learned the power of self-love many, many years ago. And I believe in its power. And I also believe that you cannot accept anybody else’s love without being completely accepting and appreciative of your own. I’m not sure why I lost touch with my self-love. I probably wasn’t making much of an effort, and (as if I haven’t mentioned it five billion times) the ground under my feet is almost literally shifting with the major life changes ahead. I’ve been a little imbalanced.
So today, no matter who you are or how many dozens of roses do or do not don your dining table, take a moment to do something nice for yourself. You (and everybody around you) will thank you for it!
Happy Valentine’s Day!