A guide to self-love and self-care
I didn't coin these words this phrase, be your own beloved, but I loved it before I had ever heard it. I vividly remember spending many a Valentine's Day pining away over a break up or unrequited affection, feeling unloved and unlovable. It was easy to focus on the romance that was absent. Valentines' Day often felt like a saccharine bombardment, confirming all that was lacking with me. Then there were the holiday dates with ill-matched partners, where we would play up the romance, look the part for the special date to see it fall flat a day or a week later. I spent many, many years, uncovering the truth that I am intrinsically worthy of being loved, while also surrounded by many loving relationships.
The forms and kinds of love that we can experience in this lifetime are limitless-- the adoration of a pet or small child; the hold of a loving grandparent or family member; the intimacy of a best friend or sibling; the listening ear of parent. These are just a few and inform how we can experience loving -kindness, whether or not romantic love is abundant at this moment.
Through my struggles with anxiety, severe depression, the most profound support I found was a curiosity about my own interests, and a befriending of myself. Where I used to be afraid of being alone or left out-- I now cherish this precious time without distraction.
This is your inner guide to reclaiming your own heart center, and celebrating the love that IS in your life. Don't wait for someone else to fulfill your dreams and desires, get started on it yourself. I encourage you to try one or all of these practices in the next week, journaling before and after to better observe how you feel.
Write a love letter
Sit down with a beautiful piece of stationary and get ready to write to yourself, focus on what you adore about your mind, your body and your spirit. Take the time to focus on specific details no matter how small. If you become stuck think of the things your best friend, parent or sibling appreciates about you, and put pen to paper to record your thoughts. Think about the last time you felt overwhelming love and affection, remember the qualities of the memory and let them fill you up. Experience this emotion as fully as you did the first time, it affirms you are loving and loveable, so write about this experience.
Take yourself on a date
Get dressed up and go to the movies or take yourself out to restaurant. Enjoy!
This will look different for everyone, focus on the kind of thing you like giving as a thoughtful gift, or even better, a thing you are hoping someone else would give to you. A bouquet of flowers, a special box of sweets, a bottle of vino or bubble bath. It should not stress you out, but make you smile when you bring it home. I highly recommend a candlelit bubble bath to really soak in your own loving-kindness.
Make a Great Playlist
Listen to the words of each song and make sure they focus on what you are trying to cultivate. Each and every word of each and every song should celebrate the love you are creating a fertile ground for.