Happy Valentine’s Day, friend! There have been years where this was the best day ever and also some where this wasn’t my fave. Regardless, I love all the love <3
I am blessed to have so much love in my life, but it got me thinking about a unique type of love: self love.
This is a phrase that has been getting thrown around a lot lately. It sounds wonderful, but what the heck does it even mean? To me, self love is really about self care. Treating yourself as you would treat your very best friend.
Self love can be a tough concept to grasp, especially in our comparison world. I mean take today for example – your friends are sharing the romantic Valentine’s Day gifts their honey’s got them and you feel that sting of comparison. “I wish I had those flowers/chocolates/fancy dinner…”
First things first: comparison is a thief. Comparison will steal your joy, your contentment, your peace.
Growing up, I didn’t feel like I fit in so much. That lack of fitting in was parallel to how I saw myself. I was loved at home and had a lot of friends, but something still told me I wasn’t enough. I didn’t look like the other girls. Definitely didn’t look like the women I saw in magazines (but lets be real, most of the time those women don’t even look like the women in magazines…)
I struggled to find my worth. My value was placed in external things: appearance, attention, comparisons. I had no idea of self love because honestly I thought it was up to other people to make me feel loved.
If only I was skinnier, then I’d be loved.
If only I was prettier, then I’d be loved.
If only I was funnier, then I’d be loved.
If only… then I’d be loved.
Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. They’re garbage. But I know it’s a tough mindset to shake.
So how do we overcome this comparison game and get to a lovely place??
I can’t give you expert advice, but what I can do is share how I got here and walk with you through it.
I began to discover self love when I realized Who I belong to. I am the daughter of a King. I have a Savior that pursues me daily. He chose to die on a cross so that I may live and be in relationship with Him. He displays the ultimate example of unconditional love.
I let that truth sink in and the walls of lies that have built up around my heart began to crumble. It certainly didn’t happen overnight, but my mindset started to shift and that old way of measuring my worth just didn’t measure up against this love.
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19
My world was forever changed.
About the same time I was having a heart transformation, a physical transformation began to take place. Now, please don’t hear that you need to look a certain way or weigh a certain amount to love yourself. Love yourself right where you’re at.
After college, I had let myself go. I wasn’t sleeping well. I wasn’t exercising. I was eating whatever. I had gained 20 pounds and didn’t feel like myself. Tired and unhappy became a pretty usual state.
Out of this internal love I was discovering came a desire to treat my body with respect. I found an amazing fitness program that fit my lifestyle – I started working out regularly, eating more nutritious foods, drinking more water. I was feeling amazing!
Truly a transformation from the inside out.
In order to make a life change, we must make a heart change.
Actions without heart won’t stick. It may happen for a bit, but eventually you will go back to your old ways.
I’m a lot different now than I was when this journey first began. The beautiful and frustrating thing is that you never really arrive. Each day has new challenges and new beauties. Sometimes it feels like 1 step forward and 2 steps back, but that’s okay. It’s a dance.
Through it all, I learned more and more about myself.
Self love makes so many other amazing things possible. It’s opened me up to deeper and life giving relationships. To vulnerability. To encouraging others. To honestly being myself. To going after the things I want. To saying no to the things that don’t serve me. To letting go of people that bring me down. To saying yes to new and exciting opportunities.
Self love makes a beautiful, fulfilling life reality.
They say not to pour from an empty cup. I like that thought, but recently I heard something I like better.
Imagine this tea cup. Each day we’re engaged in things that either fill or deplete our cup. These things are different for every person, but think about what lights you up versus what drains your energy. If we poured from the cup, we would be draining ourselves. Not good. Instead we should fill our cup so that it creates an overflow.
Pour from the saucer. Serve and love others from your overflow.
This Valentine’s Day and every day of the year, love yourself.
You are beautiful.
You are smart.
You are worthy.
You are on a path of greatness.
You are valuable.
You are accepted.
Share: What do you love most about yourself!? Praise yourself for how amazing you are <3