"Our first and last love is self-love."
-Christian Nestell Bovee
When you search inside of yourself, what do you see? This Valentine’s Day, discover the best parts of your character and spirit. Appreciate them, celebrate them. Even the not-so-good parts, too.
Self-love means witnessing those elements with patience and forgiveness. They are part of what makes you you and have value. We all have regrets, and it is important to recognize lessons learned from past choices. Facing the negatives within ourselves can be a healing experience, one that moves you toward a happier, stronger you.
If you struggle with seeing yourself in a positive light, here are some tools that can help you improve your sense of self-love:
Begin by meeting basic needs: sleep sufficiently and eat healthily to the best of your ability.
Choose affirmations or a mantra to read or repeat daily. Post them in the car or on the bathroom mirror so every morning you’ll be greeted with positive reinforcement.
Consider meditation. Stillness and a focus on breathing bring much-needed calm.
Surround yourself with people who support your growth.
Lastly, find lucky little things in life and celebrate them. The traffic light that turned green as you reached the intersection? Score! The quarter forgotten in the vending machine? Bonus points! The stranger who called out so you wouldn’t leave your cell phone on the counter? Evidence there is courtesy and kindness in the world.
Another way to expand your appreciation for the inner self is to seek safe challenges. Examples include a class in public speaking, parachuting with a friend, attending a new church or activities as simple as listening to an unfamiliar music genre. Much like exercise that strengthens our muscles and keeps our organs working efficiently, exploration keeps the soul in shape. Such growth bolsters feelings of self-worth for now and in the future.
This February, make a commitment to cherish the amazing person you are.