Since it is Valentine’s week, I’m wondering: how is your love life? Are you filled to the brim with love? Does your love cup bubbleth over? Or, perhaps, you could use a little love infusion in an area or two of your life.
It’s funny, isn’t it? Someone around us tells a funny joke, and we’re quick to throw out an, “I love you, man!” But, when it comes to ourselves, the words can often fall quiet, or fall to judgment, and even if we are brimming with self-love, we don’t always take the time out for ourselves to fully celebrate it.
Perhaps we’re saving that ‘I love you’ until we’ve hopped on the morning scale, or put on our favorite jeans. Perhaps we’re waiting for someone to tell us we look pretty; or that we’re so clever/wise/funny… or worth loving. The thing is, there is nothing anyone can say or do to us that can change how we feel about ourselves. That’s a strong statement. Maybe you’re thinking – I’ve been abused! I’ve been bullied! I’ve been hurt in this life! I absolutely believe you. I completely respect the hardships that can create the beliefs that keep us locked in the pattern of self-doubt, unworthiness, and unlovableness.
What I know, one hundred percent know, is that these patterns can be re-wired, and it’s not a passing compliment that is going to do it. It is us; we are the only ones that can flip that power switch from self-doubt to self-love within ourselves. Eckhart Tolle has a beautiful visual that he describes that I often think of. He suggests that our true selves are at the very depths of an ocean of water. On the surface there may be storms, crashing waves, but from the depths below, we are observers. Rather than being thrashed about by the waves, we are able to have enough space between the event and ourselves, to choose our reactions. It’s true that some triggering situations might have us feeling like we’re just under the waters’ surface, without much emotional distance at all. These situations are essential to recognize, because they are alerting us to areas in our lives that we need to continue to heal, so that our self-love remains strong. This awareness helps us align with your deeper self, and it can not be tarnished by anything external.
I encourage a daily love reflection. I ask this of myself, too. Stand in front of a mirror and connect with the eyes staring back at you. Allow yourself to hold compassion, and share a moment of gratitude for all you’ve transversed in this lifetime. Take a pause to recognize the strength that has endured, the hope that has conquered, and the endless desire to keep seeking and shining. Offering a nod to ourselves that we keep getting up each day and daring to dream.
What if we shared that love outwardly? My guess is that there are people who have inspired you along your journey. Something they said that encouraged you, gave you perspective, made you smile, pumped you with hope, shed light on something you were struggling to see clearly, or showed you an unexpected kindness. What would happen if you told them so? Maybe it’s a phone call, a text, a letter, a Facebook post, a conversation over coffee; it doesn’t’ matter if it’s brief, it’s more about putting your loving energy out into the world. I do this constantly and, I assure you, people love to know that their lives are serving a purpose, and that their efforts are valued.
So, as we settle into this week, reserved for celebrating love, see if you can add a love infusion into your interactions. Have a co-worker who gets under your skin? Try hearing them from a place of compassion. Partner constantly doing something that irks you? What if you simply accepted the behavior as what is, and then worked to find solutions from this place? Consider waking up early one morning to take in the sunrise, or removing all distractions to see it set? Can you allow love into every part of your life?
Oscar Wilde: “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” Happy Valentine’s week! May your romance be infused with all that you desire.