Loving Yourself First
February means Valentine's day or at least that's what the greeting card companies would like you to believe. It always comes to mixed reviews. It depends a lot on your situation or maybe your lack there of. Either way, we shouldn't forget that it is a ploy of big business to play upon our emotions and pressure us into increasing their sales. How many misinterpreted offers of candy and ill-advised engagements have happened in the name of St. Valentine? Who needs it?
If we were back in ancient Rome at this time of year we would be preparing to celebrate 4 days of drunken revelry... Lupercalia. There would be all manner of situations available to us and we would diligently participate in all of them. This would be the time when we would encourage the young God Lupercus to grow into his manhood and move that wheel of the year over one more click. The crops depended on it. Sounds like just more pressure to me.
There has to be some middle ground between corporate greed and ancient craziness. So here we stand in modern Pagan Paradise where all forms of love and pleasure are Her ritual. Blessed be!
But still there is one form of love that most of us seem to have a problem with. I daresay all of us at one point or another has encountered difficulty in loving ourselves.
How can you love others if you don't love yourself first? You can't give what you don't have. I know many beautiful people, loving people who give so much to others but suffer silently because they are not receiving love in return. This can breed resentment toward the very people whom you love. If you can learn to love yourself and proactively show yourself some love you will have a rich and renewable resource with which to love others.
Let's examine this season of Love from the inside out. Let's consider a few ways to pamper and show some love to ourselves maybe those around us will feel more love in the process.
Just say no!
This may sound strange but if you can learn how to say no to people, even people you love, it works out better in the long run. It's not loving if you agreed to do something you don't want to do just to make someone else happy. Instead find something you can do with or for someone that makes you both happy.
Guard your energy
Every day that you wake up in your bed you have a chance to make it a good day or a bad day by your decisions and actions. As you go through your day sometimes events will happen outside your control. Only you can decide how you will let the events affect you. You can choose your emotions, you can choose the meanings you assign to events, and you can choose your reactions. Guard your energy because as soon as you start feeling down or low vibrational it will affect not only you but everyone around you. To show love to yourself choose positive emotions and reactions to everything life throws at you. If you are completely knocked off your feet lean on your friends for support. Then get back in the game with a reframe and move forward. Sometimes we do need friends to lift us back up but you can work on learning to reframe experiences as they happen so that you are not knocked down so often.
Carve out me time
I know you're busy. There's lots to do everyday. I know a lot of people who spend most of their day assisting others either personally or professionally. It's vital to restore, recharge, and repair yourself each day and sometimes the only way to get some me time is to carve it out of stone! Even 15 minutes completely to yourself with no other obligations can be enough to recharge. Sit and read a magazine and have a cup of tea. Take a bath or a long, hot shower. Take a walk or sit in nature. Turn off your cell phone and leave the laptop behind. Be vigilant about your me time. Let nothing and no one disturb you. If you’ve never carved out time for yourself you’ll be amazed at what happens when you start doing it. It’s like putting fresh batteries in your body. You come back restored and replenished and ready to give some more. People who really love and know you will not begrudge you a few minutes to your self. Once they see the change in you they may even encourage it,
Holding a grudge or carrying anger and resentment toward others only burdens you. Every morning you have to pick up that grudge again and carry it around with you all day. You have to send hateful thoughts to other people. Too much work. It's like putting poison in a cup and sending it to your enemy hoping they will receive and drink it. Silly. Why not just decide to forgive? Move on. Concentrate on your own life and your own future and leave the past in the past. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Whatever was done to you, decide you learned a valuable lesson and moved forward. If you need to extract some meaning from the experience help other people who may have been hurt in a similar way.
This is one of my favorite ways to show myself some love. Indulge in a reward. Do you reward yourself for a job well done? How about a life well-lived? Go on, reward yourself. Take a day off and go to the spa, buy a new book or a nice meal at a fancy restaurant. You know what you like best. As an added bonus, this will give those people around you a hint at what you might like for a gift. A gift certificate to the craft store in lieu of flowers? I'll take it!