Be Your Own Valentine
When I was very young, I used to think it was selfish or bad to “love yourself” – you were “supposed” to love other people not you. I’m still a bit uncomfortable with the words.
But the fact is, without self-love, no other form of love is “real.” You simply cannot love another if you don’t love yourself first, because you are depleted and coming from a space of emotional depletion and emptiness instead of wholehearted joy.
Think of it as the oxygen mask you have to put on yourself first before you put the mask on your child.
Loving yourself doesn’t mean you put yourself above others. Loving yourself is simply taking care of yourself and your needs without being a doormat or without putting other people’s needs ahead of your own.
In my life and work I have known and seen this to be a very difficult concept for women to grasp and implement, as our society has socialized women to put everyone and everything else first. Why? So that society can reap the rewards of low or unpaid female labor in homes and workplaces. We have made some progress in some countries, but not really.
John Lennon wrote a song that occurs to me now. Do you know which one I’m talking about? “Women are the ——- of the World.”
If you feel any pressure on Valentine’s Day (or any other day for that matter) to take care of someone else without first taking care of yourself, I ask you to think about this and make a change. You will get a lot of flak for it, especially if it’s new behavior for you. Do it anyway.