Yes, it’s that special time of the year again. Our cities and our towns are painted with the colour RED, the colour of LOVE. Love birds are drowning themselves in wine; red roses flowers are decorating our streets. All these acts of love only happen once a year, this month of February. It’s the month of love.
But first, have you marked on your calendar that Valentine’s Day is only a few days away? I know you probably are way too busy working hard, making extra money to take care of your loved ones, but the first step in ensuring such a day is a success to remember the day in the first place.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on the 14th of February. It’s a great day of reminding and rekindling the passion between you and your soul mate. Book a romantic hotel for your wife or who you love, buy a bottle of wine, cook his or her favorite meal. There is so much you could do for your loved one. But is it the only month or day of the year where we manifest love in all its forms including romance, passion, intimacy, joy, friendship, communion and ecstasy? Or can we express it at anytime of the year?
Love is a very strong power, what guides us humans! I know you may not yet have met someone who you are compatible with due to one reason or another. And you won’t be happy with all the roses littering our streets and couples holding hands in your city if you are all alone this Valentine’s.
But let me make it easy for you now! The first step in attracting that person you desire this is to cultivate self-love. You’ve got first to love yourself before you find that someone you have always wanted to be with.
What is self-love?
‘You and you deserve your love and affection more than anyone else in the universe!’
Personally, I have had problems with lack of self-love before. I have sorted the approval of others after struggling with feelings of guilt and failure in my life. I have felt shame and talked to my friends and family with little success. I didn’t feel I was worth of being loved at all. So how do you come out of this dark pit?
Self-love is a word that is often thrown around and misunderstood by many. It’s not about taking great care of yourself, buying yourself the latest Nikes or buying yourself that Chanel bag you have always wanted. It’s more than the usual material possessions that make us smile. Take part in actions that will ensure the psychological, physical and spiritual growth of yourself.
Lack of self-love often leads to many other self-sabotaging traits that may include either of the following
- Hypersensitivity and defensiveness
- Poor communication skills
- Eating disorders
- Poor social life due to poor social skills
- Hyper vigilance defined as the constant fear of making mistakes
- Chaotic and stressful relationships with your loved ones
- Passive aggressiveness
Many of you who are looking forward to Valentine’s Day may be well aware of this concept called self-worth. We may accept the term and all that comes with it i.e. that we love ourselves, and hopefully, our family and acquaintances reinforce that. Things will be different out there because you know it’s a harsh world. You could encounter comparisons, judgments, and criticism.
Such negative thoughts will cloud your mind and make you believe you can’t love yourself. And once you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to attract that person you have always wanted to be your valentine. Take it as a fact!
Being told you aren’t good enough, is detrimental as you will forget to trust yourself and rely on other people’s judgments and beliefs. If other people detest you and your ways, you will struggle to be that person who meets the needs and traits of the person who you seek. You will also not be able to meet the world’s approval, and you will end getting trapped in a negative bias.
With such kind of challenges, it’s no wonder so many persons suffer from a low self-esteem. To embrace a feeling of self-worth, we have to come up with various ideas for responding to bad input and negative criticism that often boxes us to the corner.
So how to cultivate Self-Love?!
Learn to accept
You may not always like something about yourself, like your body size or your face, or you may not be the most interesting person in your circle. You might look at some of your family members or friends and wish you were like them, but unfortunately, there are some realities in life but you can always try to change some. The most important even if you are trying to do the best of yourself and go on a diet, be more intellectual or even do nothing about it. Just learn to accept the way you are and focus your energy on more positive and productive endeavors in your life and about yourself. That way you will be able to relax your mind and heart.
Learn healthy communication and social skills
This is the best way of finding that person who you’ve always wanted and, therefore, inspire love in your life. You should be able to communicate your fears and feelings in a healthy, non-confrontational and mature way. Such are critical in ensuring you cultivate self-love thus leading to improved relationships. Everyone on this planet is insecure in one way or another, instead of diminishing or hiding them, enhance your emotional insight so as you are more authentic to those whom you approach.
What’s your passion?
What do you love doing, what is your hobby? Once you define what you like participating in, you will always find a reason for waking up in the morning. You will be eager and engaged in doing what you desire. You will be able to strengthen a confident self-perception by linking up your skills with what you are passionate about. No one will force you to be someone or something you aren’t because you will openly express what and who you love.
Forgive, forgive, and forgive
To love yourself and those close to you, you have first to forgive yourself, and then forgive others for hurting you. You forgive yourself the same way you forgive others, be it your friends or family. Offer it freely with kindness. Don’t beat yourself over a mistake you have done as it’s an exercise in futility. Offer your friends forgiveness even if they don’t seek it for one reason or the other. The ability to forgive yourself and others is a bold step in wholeness, self-respect, and self-worth.
So after attaining your self-love, how do you attract someone, in other words, how do you become a love magnet?
Where and how do you find it? What steps can you take to keep the fire burning once you find love? Why is it so hard for you to find love and your friend, colleague or cousin drowns in it every day? Those are some of the questions that may be running through your mind.
Allow natural love to flow from your heart to others.
- The first thing you should do is to let go of fear.
You should be confident by now, having gathered your self-worth. The natural state of us humans as stated above is love, and the opposite of it is distress, anxiety and fear. Once you feel anxious or anguish, build a wall, a fortress around yourself to protect you from all things related to anxiety, and negative comments. That ‘fortress’ may include dropping friends that may be bringing you down, or you could engage in other positive activities that will build your confidence such as taking part in team building activities with your colleagues or family members.
Action: Over this period, look for any issues in your life that are fear based. Take a piece of paper, indicating what you fear and how you can respond to your fears from a compassionate and positive point of view. Instead of fearing that homeless man that you always ignore at the subway, how about you buy him a sandwich or hand him a couple of dollars?
Train yourself to let go of fear by countering fear with acts of love.
- Love yourself first.
As I mentioned earlier, you should first and foremost think about yourself before you can love another person. What that statement means is you should accept your flaws as none of us is perfect. Instead of blaming yourself and others for mistakes committed in your life, why don’t you look at the positive side. Look at yourself and appreciate yourself and those close to you, reminding them of their good qualities.
Action: State down the positive traits of yourself as well as others. You look great, and you are beautiful inside and outside. Look at the positive side of everything, e.g., how you handle your colleagues or what you are great at. Once people critic you, or you critic yourself, pick up a positive response to it from the list you have written down.
Loving yourself will help you project your love towards other people, and that way true love can blossom between you and your soul mate.
- Forget about your past
Most of the people who I have spoken to, have told me that so many unpleasant things have happened in their past relationships, some of which have negatively affected their love life. You may not realize it, but every time something negative happens in your life, you register it in your subconscious. It, therefore, goes in the ‘sack’ of all unpleasant things that ever happened in your life and such things are a burden on your relationships.
Imagine having a 200-pound sack on your back? It will be tough to walk. Accumulated ‘unpleasant things’ in your head will be like a 200-pound sack on your back; it will be hard for you to move forward in life especially with regards to relationships.
Action: State all the terrible things from your past, and write them down on a piece of paper. Strike them out one by one, indicating letting go of all fear, anxiety and unpleasant things that may be weighing you down and then burn it. Let go of any anger and excessive need to control those who you love and care about.
- Define your needs.
Having needs is part of human nature. We go to school, eat, sleep, work, or even marry because we have needs. In fact having needs will help you create a relationship. You and your partner will be more connected and feel better if both of your needs are voiced and accomplished. Even after stating such, most of us are uncomfortable asking the other party to meet our needs.
The irony is, we get into relationships to get some particular needs met.
Action: Think about your needs, write them down if you can. Then know the needs of your significant other, and those who are close to you. Go ahead, work hard and ensure all the stated needs are met!
- Do you know your relationship patterns?
If you aren’t attracting the right persons in your love life, most likely it’s not the first time. In such a case, you may be having relationship patterns that are a hindrance to you attracting the right people to your love life.
Action: Ask yourself if there is a way you behave that prevents you from causing love? What are your relationship patterns and what kind of people do you attract? Once you state your pattern, you will be able to define new ways of causing love between you and those who you crush on.
- Express your boundaries.
Boundaries are critical as they help you honor your wants, needs and protect you as well. Once you can choose to say yes or no to a request or demand from those who you love is when you know you have defined boundaries. Boundaries are important when you are well aware of your needs. Always ask those close to you to respect them. They will help you be more discerning, earn you self-respect and inspire others to treat you well.
Action: Keep in mind the boundaries that people should know, and make them aware of them in a subtle, polite manner. Be kind and open to your partner.
- What do you want?
What do you want from your relationship or your partner? Clearly and concisely state your wants. Ensure you don’t go overboard and give unrealistic and out of this world expectations. Be modest and avoid setting very low expectations. Avoid sabotaging your love life by engaging in negative behaviors, and instead, take action to create what you want.
Action: Model your love life after those relationships you value the most.
Be your own valentine
As you might already noticed, the month of February is often full of expectations, talks of love and people exchanging all kinds of gifts. Some can’t wait for it to come while some want it to pass as soon as it comes because they haven’t found someone to share the love with. Those who are single dread the day because there’s too much pressure from their friends and family who have a plus one to celebrate with.
I have highlighted a couple of ways in which you could cultivate self-love, and after that attract that one person you want to spend the 14th of February with. To be sincere, you may need to be patient to find love. It depends on the kind of a person you really want, your needs and desires. What if you don’t find that one guy or lady that you want to be with? How do you get to enjoy and have fun this month?
There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t enjoy this month. I agree that having someone else in the picture is important as it will bring you happiness and joy. However, you don’t have to have someone so as to have the best Valentine’s Day ever in your life. You could view it positively and even name it ‘Self-love Month’ instead of Valentine’s Day. And another important point to note is you don’t have to wait till February to celebrate ‘Self-love Month’. How about we do it differently this year and celebrate it every single day of our lives. Being your own Valentine is one of the best ways of living a positive life.
So what steps could you take in being your own Valentine, not only this month but also every other single day of the year?
- Indulge yourself in a treat
I know you have probably seen lots of offers from various shopping establishments, salons, bars or even spas. Why don’t take a day off, go for a spa day or buy yourself a box of chocolates and get to remind yourself that you are worthy of such indulgence? Indulge in a treat, have an hour relaxing or reading a good book. You deserve it!
Treats and gifts are the first languages of love. Do something good for yourself. It’s not a crime to send yourself dozens of roses!
- Keep in mind how awesome you are!
Don’t wait for friends to tell you how beautiful, handsome, talented you are, or that you have a great smile. I know you feel great when other people compliment you. But compliments are even better once you praise yourself. We are often quick to blame ourselves when we do wrong, but once we do right, we never remember to pat ourselves on the back. I am all about self-improvement, and giving myself a compliment every day of my life.
Doing so has helped me live a happy and optimistic life.
- How about you challenge yourself this Valentine’s period?
Take a paper and note down your goals. What do you intend to achieve this year or this month of February? Start a project and challenge yourself to learn a new skill in the coming days or months. How about you take a day off, and learn a new recipe. Get empowered by the unlimited possibilities that are before you and take your life by the reins. Learning is a recommended way of invigorating yourself and getting to have fun this Valentine’s month.
- Eat healthy
Indulge in activities that will add value to your life. You could slow down on the alcohol and instead have more fresh juices instead. Eat healthy foods as such kind of foods are the key to supporting a healthy life. According to Anahata Chakra, the fourth main chakra of Buddhist Tantric, Hindu Yogic, and Shakta Traditions, there are certain foods key to supporting a healthy lifestyle. They include vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Eat more vegetables, and exercise during this month.
- Reflect on your life and relax.
You could relax through a number of ways e.g. by enrolling in a yoga class. Engage in heart-opening postures under the Anahata teachings such as the Cobra Pose, Camel Pose, and Heart Melting Pose. These exercises will help increase blood flow in the veins, hence increase your flexibility and strength.
Delight and smile that you have nothing special going down on the 14th. You could catch some early sleep. Once you relax on your bed after a long day, reflect on the positives that life has to offer e.g. a simple thing like the fact that you are healthy.
And as I mentioned all above, you don’t need a date to have an unforgettable Valentines experience on February 14th. Stop frowning and live life to the fullest. In fact, this should be your happiest month of the year. Be happy, progress, and the most important thing, CULTIVATE SELF-LOVE this February.
And just live every day of your life like a Valentine and spread the love vibes out, they will come back to you more and bigger then you can imagine.
Your Grace Guru