What do you think about when you think about love? Do you think about your partner? Your children? Your parents? Your pet? Most of us are fortunate enough to have someone or something in our lives onto which we can project our love.
But how many of us are able to turn that love within? Can you honestly say that you love yourself? Or does that bring up uncomfortable thoughts like “I’m being conceited” or “I’m inherently unlovable?”
Self-love, and its cousin, self-care, are often seen as self-indulgent activities that narcissists engage in. Our culture values selflessness and sacrifice, but at what cost? A lifetime of giving without taking in can leave you depleted and, ironically, less able to share your gifts with others.
If you decide to be your own Valentine, get curious: what can you do for yourself that brings you joy? That nourishes you spiritually? That brings you peace? How can you even figure this out?
Mindfulness practices can be really good ways to tap into your deepest needs and desires. That’s probably the reason I resisted them for so long—because feeling my needs and vulnerabilities made me feel selfish and weak. It can still be challenging to get quiet when I’m feeling uncomfortable. I’d rather run away from the “bad” feeling than explore it. So I try to sneak them in if getting to my mat is just impossible: I’ll go for a walk outside with the dog and take an extra-long route so I can enjoy watching her little butt wag back and forth as she prances down the street. I’ll walk into my son’s bedroom and imagine him happy and busy in college, just like he’s supposed to be. I’ll take the time to wash my sheets just so, scenting them with lavender so that when I get into bed, I’ll feel nurtured and cared for.
None of these things will give me the jolt of a kundalini experience. But sometimes, I just need a little reminder that there’s some beauty in the world and that if it’s not presenting itself to me, I can go looking for it. Believe that there is good in you and that you are worthy of love, and treat yourself like it. Practice and I promise that it will get easier.
Happy Valentine’s Day!