Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!
Now be honest. Did reading that make you feel giddy and excited, or did it fill you with dread? For all the love birds out there, this is one of the most exciting times of the year. Stressful at times, yes, but the good kind of stress that means you just want the special day to be perfect. For the people who see it as a chance to just love whatever wonderful people they have in their lives a little bit extra, Valentine’s Day is a blast.
But there are definitely some people out there that look at Valentine’s Day as an explosion of Hallmark and candy hearts that makes loneliness sting a little more. That makes heartache a little worse. That makes you miss someone you wish you didn’t miss. That makes you wish you had someone to miss in the first place. Is this you? Has this been you in the past? I’m so blessed to be spending this Valentine’s Day with an absolutely incredible person that I truly adore. (To be honest though, I’ve always loved the red, heart themed, sparky section of Target.) But I know how it feels to hate the feeling that Valentine’s Day brings. I know how it feels to sit at home, alone, and desperately search for anything other than a romantic comedy on TV. I know how it feels to not get the roses or give them, to eat the chocolate heart knowing full well I bought it for myself in the last-minute clearance sale at the grocery. I know how it feels to be my own Valentine. I know that sounds like the tackiest thing ever, but it’s true. Can you relate to that realization? When it seems like everyone around you has someone to give them affection and surprises and the whole shebang, but you’re stuck on your couch by yourself? After many Valentine’s Days spent alone, or even worse with a broken heart, I’ve realized a couple things.
The first thing I realized was that Valentine’s Day is an adorable opportunity to spread some love in a world that needs it. It’s more than just romance. It’s about being loud with your love. Being bold with how you feel. It’s about friendship, family. It’s about celebrating the people in this world that make you feel cherished and valued and like you belong somewhere. Once I realized this, basically every person in my life was getting a Valentine. One with stickers, candy, temporary tattoos, the whole nine yards. Yes, I’m 20. Yes, I will still give you a Hershey kisses and a cheesy pick up line. It might sound a little dramatic, but it honestly made February 14th a day I looked forward to instead of dreaded. If you hate Valentine’s Day, mindset is everything. Instead of focusing on what you feel like you’re lacking, try to find one person in your life to love loudly this Valentine’s Day.
Maybe that person is you.
That’s what this post is really about. Even if you’re happily married, happily single, not interested in dating at all, whatever the case may be. Valentine’s Day is so often about how perfect our love lives are. It’s all about “Be Mine”. What if you instead of belonging to someone else, you spent a little time thinking about all the ways you are uniquely yours? What if we all decided to spend a little time in February loving ourselves more? What if we boldly loved ourselves? Now I’m not saying to throw your sweeping romantic gestures and fancy reservations out the window. I’m definitely not going to. But I also am going to cherish myself this Valentine’s Day season, and I hope you’ll do the same.
How often do you set aside time to bask in the opportunity to invest in yourself? How many days do you wake up and say, “I’m going to do ____________ for me, because I want to and it makes me feel happy and peaceful and loved.”? In our society, being busy has become a personality trait. If you’re not always stressed, you’re not working hard enough. If you didn’t Instagram it, it didn’t happen. These sentiments are so damaging because they tell us that doing our best exactly as we are isn’t enough. It needs to be filtered to be acceptable. It needs external validation to be worthy. What if we decided to throw those lies out the window this February?
What would it look like for you to make a radical commitment to loving yourself, today?
I use the word “radical” so intentionally because I am tired of lukewarm self-love. I am so done with a 50% commitment to my self-care. It’s not exciting! It’s not enough! You deserve more. You reading this. You deserve to love yourself so deeply and fully. You deserve to be excited about who you are. You deserve to be proud of who you are. You deserve to invest in the unfiltered you that wakes up with bedhead and morning breath and a to-do list with nothing crossed off.
I’m going to challenge you to take a leap of faith with me today. I’m going to ask you to write a love letter to yourself. I’m serious. If you’re thinking to yourself, “You had me up to this point but I’m not actually going to sit down and write something down”, think of the message you’re sending to yourself. When was the last time you dedicated five minutes to doing something just for you? Remember that radical commitment I talked about? This is step one.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper (because that’s just way more romantic than your phone notes) and just think for a minute. What kind of self-talk do you wish you had? What thoughts do you wish came naturally to you? For me, I wish I had a tendency to think, “I am capable. I can do anything if I work hard enough and have enough patience. I’m not letting anyone down. I am enough and no one can take that away from me.” Those thoughts don’t come easily to me, but that’s exactly why I’m putting them in my letter. This is your chance to say exactly what you need. Give yourself permission to let love flow onto that page. Whatever serves you, whatever warms your heart and quiets your doubts, write that. Build yourself up. Lift yourself up. Write yourself poetry or write one sentence. But write. Write for you.
Once you’ve finished writing, put it somewhere where you’ll always have it close. Your coat pocket, your wallet, your backpack, your glove box. When it’s a bad day and when it’s the best day, read it back to yourself. Hear those words, that bold love, in your own voice. Those are your words. That is your truth. Make it a habit. Memorize it. Keep it in your mind like a mantra, like a promise. Even if it’s hard to believe, that is the love that you want to give to yourself. The first step is speaking that love into existence.
The next step is acting on it.
So as February unfolds, and you read your letter back to yourself, somewhere on that piece of paper make a promise to yourself of one thing you will do just for you. Because you cherish yourself. Because you deserve that radical love. Take yourself on a date to your favorite restaurant. Wear that outfit that you love but might feel a little insecure in. Say yes to an adventure. Say no to what doesn’t serve you. Unfollow Instagram accounts that make you question your worth. Sign up for the kickboxing class. Prioritize your sleep. Start a journal. There are millions of things you could do, but commit to one. Commit to showing up for yourself in action. Commit to loving yourself in action.
Valentine’s Day can be great, and it can be hard. Maybe it’s just another day. Regardless, it’s a perfect opportunity to remember that you are worthy of healthy and happy love. You are worthy of giving that healthy and happy love to yourself. If you’re struggling right now, I want you to know that you aren’t alone. I want you to know that there is so much in this world for you. I want you to know that everything you need to be enough is already within you. I’m sending you all virtual valentines and cheering you on in this self-love journey we’re on together.
Choose radiance. Choose fearlessness. Choose you.
With light and love,