It’s Valentine’s Day when social media will be full of talk about lurve… so how do you feel when someone says “Love Yourself”? Some people are ok with it, others it makes them shudder. Don’t get me wrong, we know self-love is important. Making room for self-care, healthy self-talk – it all matters. But when someone says we won’t find love until we learn to love ourselves it can feel, well…uncomfortable. Because loving ourselves doesn’t start easy.
It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t, of course, the benefits are huge. I can honestly say that once you learn to befriend yourself, you’ll never feel lonely again.
You’ll laugh at your own jokes.
Enjoy your own company.
Even go on mini dates with yourself, to your favourite café for tea and treats. (I do this regularly).
So how do we find our way towards self-love, especially if we worry that it’s selfish to even try?
Here’s what might help.
This week, maybe set the intention to Fill Your Heart. For around 40 years, the Dalai Lama has worked with scientists to understand the big questions in life, including what makes us happy. Whereas many “gurus” will say you have to love yourself before you can someone else, research now suggests the opposite. Showing kindness to a stranger, starting up a random conversation in the queue at the supermarket, or doing some volunteering with (eg) animals has a wonderful “side-effect”; we start to feel good about ourselves.
This doesn’t mean we give too much of ourselves to others; it’s more about giving our time in meaningful ways to those who don’t expect it. Have a think this week about how you can share your greatest gift – time – and see how it helps you feel.
If that doesn’t work for you right now, treat yourself anyway – buy yourself some flowers, gift yourself something sparkly (a new notebook is always lovely) or just enjoy something that puts a bit of sparkle in your step – even if it’s time to rest. Remember, you can love everybody if you want to, just don’t forget yourself.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2022