What Self-Love Really Means
I had the most surprising and delightful a-ha at a networking meeting with a new colleague this week!
Since it was our first meeting, we basically traded life stories and I got to talking about the skills I have and the many things I’ve done…and thought, wow! I’ve done and can do a lot…
…And yet, if I’m honest, the thought that “I haven’t amounted to much” can creep in — often.
And, I don’t think I’m alone in that, which is why I’m sharing this story with you.
My 49th birthday was the next day (and the day before Valentines), so the conversation inspired me to write myself a love letter — to reflect on and appreciate not only what I’ve done, but what it is to be me…and, wow! It was a fun exercise that filled me with so much peace, true joy, and tenderness towards the imperfect perfection that is me. (If you want to see what I came up with, here you go!)
It was one of the highlights of my day, to keep my own company like that, and it was the best love letter I’ve ever received — and I didn’t need anyone else to give it to me.
Reading all of the many reactions to Valentine’s Day that came across my FB feed (sooo many people feeling alone again, naturally), got me thinking…
What if we ALL could write ourselves the best love letter we’ve ever received?? To know our own value and share it freely. To feel true joy at being us.
Were you taught, like I was, not to “toot your own horn” or that it’s arrogant to brag about yourself?
Do you long for others to notice you and appreciate you and see your good qualities, yet you can’t see them or name them for yourself?
Do you obsess over your “flaws?”
Do you give and give and give to others and then feel secretly disappointed or even resentful when they don’t seem to appreciate you for it, or worse, don’t reciprocate?
Do you find it difficult or awkward to receive compliments?
Does the voice in your head keep telling you that you should have done more by now or be prettier, or nicer, or stronger or anything else-er?
Did Valentine’s Day in any little way make you feel lonely, left out, or less than?
I understand. I’ve been there…and I’ve done that.
Sadly, it’s how most of us were trained. It’s downright unseemly to think highly of ourselves, right?! No, we want others to do that for us instead.
But, imagine for a moment what your life would be like if you could…
- See and name what it is to be uniquely you
- Gain new perspective on the love you feel like you needed but haven’t gotten – perspective that allows you to move the F on and quit waiting around for someone else to give you what they can’t
- Appreciate and even embrace the things you currently think are “wrong” with you
- Recognize and give yourself mad respect for your efforts and triumphs in life
- Embrace confidence in who you are and what a gift you and your talents and passions are to this world so that you wake up every morning feeling glad to be alive as you.
Self-Care and Self-Love are hot topics in many circles today, yet so many of those conversations don’t go any deeper than getting massages or pedicures — maybe eating some kale. Sure, it feels good in the moment but how long does that warm glow last once you’ve walked out of the spa?
When I talk to people about it, I find that very few people really know what it is to love themselves, to know the value of their presence, to feel truly, deeply glad to be them.
Instead we’re so desperate for others to love us, to fill the nagging void of “not good enough” for us.
Very few people have a clear idea of who they are and how uniquely wonderful and love-worthy that is.
And Valentine’s Day, a silly manufactured holiday, can bring it all to a very painful head.
We’ve absorbed the message that to have someone special love us is what makes us legitimate, worthy, and a complete human being.
We look around and assume that being in a couple means happiness….Uhm, hello? You know how many lonely and sad married people there are out there? I’ve been there. I know.
We overlook all of the love that is available to us all of the time.
It’s time to call BS on that.
One of the most important things you can ever do in life is to see your real situation clearly —
And when I say that, it’s not just your “bad” or “messy”, the things you could do better…
It’s your awesome — your skills, your passions, your quirks, your hard-fought victories.
It’s to be able to see and own fully all of the brightness you bring by being perfectly you.
It’s to look on your “flaws” as part of your uniqueness, and see them with compassion, or better yet tenderness, or even better full on embrace.
It’s to quit wishing you had someone else’s hair, or work, or partner, or abs, or life!
It’s to quit thinking that if you just fill in the blank then you’d be happy.
It’s to wake up every morning glad to be YOU!
THIS is what it means to Love Yourself. And it’s a game-changer.
It changes how you treat yourself and makes self-care a breeze.
It creates an independence that allows you to choose the best relationships (romantic and otherwise), ones that are FULL of real, mutual love.
It fosters a deep appreciation of others. (Yes, it actually makes you less selfish, not more)
And it magnifies your contributions and value in the world as you learn to bring your whole self to it.
You wake up every morning feeling the immense pleasure of being you!
If getting super clear about just how amazing and lovable is calling to you now, I’d like to invite you to check out my upcoming Writing Yourself a Love Letter Workshop, a short 7-day online class with live coaching and lifetime access. You can get the details here.
With Tons of Love!