So, it’s the day after Valentines Day and some of us had a lovely candle light dinner with our honey last night. Others lamented the fact that we don’t have a partner and couldn’t wait for the day to be over. And some of us are just irritated by the silly hallmark holiday that’s just getting people to spend money on needless cards and chocolates.
Wherever we sit on the continuum, there’s one relationship that we all have in common: our relationship with ourselves.
We’ve all heard the old adage: In order to love others, you have to first love yourself.
But let’s face it: that’s just really annoying to hear when you don’t think you know how to do it or you’ve experienced traumas in your life that seem to be blocking you from feeling self love.
After a whole bunch of traumatic experiences in my childhood and youth that left me a little self-loved handicapped, I went searching for some ways to learn how to love myself.
One of the things I found through all my studies and explorations is that, as human beings, unfortunately, we don’t have such a wide diversity of feelings. A lot of us are feeling similar things.
In a sense, all we’re doing is looking for a feeling. We’re basically feeling beings that are either trying to HAVE a feeling or AVOID a feeling. And love is just a feeling or state of being. So how can we learn to experience the feeling of love (and particularly self love) more often?
One time a teacher of mine asked a group of us:
What kind of relationship do you have with yourself?
When was the last time you took yourself out on a date?
How do you give to yourself?
How do you show love to yourself?
Those were such good questions.
What are ways that we show love to ourselves? How do we care for ourselves and how do we let our spirit know that we care for it? How do you let yourself know?
At the time, I realized that I wasn’t very good at doing the self-relationship thing. So, I decided to go through a period of dating my spirit. Guys were trying to date me and I told them I wasn’t interested because I wanted to know what it’s like to have a relationship with myself first. (I write and sing about this experience in my book/CD, Vibration Project ).
What does it mean to have a relationship with yourself?
It’s a really important question that few of us ever ask. And what I found was that it’s not always that easy in our society, because creating a relationship with oneself is just not prioritized. But I started experimenting with doing some caring things for myself and here are a few date ideas that you can try:
- Make Yourself a Meal – I hear so many people who live alone or don’t have someone else around all the time say, “oh, I only cook when I have someone over. I never cook just for myself.” But why not? Try planning an evening to cook your favorite dish. Turn on some good music, light a candle and enjoy!
- Make a List of the Things You Appreciate about Yourself. If you’re like most people, you probably complain sometimes that that others just don’t acknowledge or appreciate all the things you do. Well, now’s your chance to make up for all the times you didn’t get appreciated, and do it yourself! And don’t hold back!
- Tell Yourself a Secret. You know that feeling you get when you have a secret. When I do, I giggle like a little girl and have a smirk on my face that I can’t get off, even if I try. Tell yourself a secret and enjoy the feeling of sharing that with someone special.
- Write a Love Note to Yourself. It may seem a little silly at first, but once you get into it, it really feels good. No rules. Just pretend that you are your own lover, grab a pen and paper (or a computer, if you’ve forgotten how to write) and go to town! Then, when you’re finished, mail it! Better yet, ask someone else to mail it for you and tell them to not to tell you when they are doing it, so you can be surprised. Plus, everyone likes getting letters that aren’t junk mail!
- Take Yourself on a Walk. When I was in college, I was so full of angst and anxiety that I had a hard time sleeping and studying. So I got into the habit of taking long walks through the campus to calm my nerves. It always made me feel better. There’s something about taking a walk that brings us back to ourselves and helps us connect and relieve some anxiety and stress, so we can feel what’s underneath the overwhelm.
- Take Some Time to Check in with Your Heart. How often do you have a conversation with your heart? Many times our heart is trying to give us messages that we’re not listening to because we’re so tuned into the external world and to other people’s input. Ask your heart “What are you yearning for? What do you need to say to me?” and allow the answers to come in any form. The heart usually communicates through feelings and not words, so give yourself a few minutes to just feel what your heart has to say to you.
Have fun and enjoy your journey to self love! It’s a wonderful journey to embark on. I can pretty much guarantee that if you don’t do it, no one else is going to do it for you! 🙂
P.S. The following is a music video for a song I wrote called “Can’t Hide My Love,” which came out of my journey to rediscover love after learning how to open my heart to life, myself and eventually others. I thought it would be nice to share it for this post.