I hate Valentine’s Day and so, yes.... I am celebrating that it has come and gone. Why do I hate it, you ask?
Maybe it’s because flowers are expensive and die so quickly. Or maybe the marketing of the holiday fools me into over-indulging on chocolates, leaving me feeling bloated, guilty and kind of dumb for falling for it year after year. I suppose it could be that I am single and have been for as long as I can remember; but even when I was coupled, it was too much hype. The day always ended with me feeling let down. My man got me carnations instead of roses! How could he? (Gosh, I was a spoiled brat!) The restaurant’s drinks weren’t strong enough! (Gosh, I was an alchy!) It felt like a lot of pressure for no good, valuable reason.
And so, I have made a pact with myself. A tradition of my own, if you will. Because my hatred of the holiday was causing tension and unnecessary negativity in my mind, heart and soul, I knew I had to somehow spin it into a positive.
From now on, I have decided to declare February the month of self-love. It’s a beautiful thing actually, because for me, self-love is new. For so long I was lacking self-worth, self-esteem, and the beauty that is loving, respecting and accepting myself exactly as I am. But alas—after years of doing the hard, sometimes painful work of being honest with myself, self-aware and holding myself accountable day after day after day—I freaking love myself. And I am not at all ashamed or uncomfortable shouting it from the rooftops. Or writing it on the page! So this is how I’ve been practicing self-love and celebrating me this month:
Time and money are two things I never seem to have enough of these days; so while I know that celebrating and treating myself is important and that I am worthy, it is quite the challenge to make it happen. But this February, I am utilizing the resources I do have to pamper myself—just a little bit—and it sure beats a dozen carnations! I recently learned that I love facials and so I knew I wanted to try what’s being called the facial of the future—a Geneo Facial! Its patented oxygenation combines three non-invasive, clinically proven technologies, which trigger the body to produce more oxygen and carry it to the skin. I was so relaxed that I did not care too much about the technologies or the promised results, but when the serum on my face started bubbling and tingling, I knew it was doing whatever it was supposed to! And yes, the results were amazing! My skin is smoother than ever, and I may have to declare March self-love month, too. If I can afford it, I might add my nails and toes and I will be ready for a night on the town.
Trust My Intuition
This is a big one! Back when I was lacking in the self-worth and self-love departments, I would get a feeling in my gut about things— say yes to the guy who asked me out, for example, or no to that job that wasn’t the right fit— and I would ignore it. I would ask everyone and anyone else what I should do even though the answer was screaming at me from my insides! I didn’t love or trust myself enough to listen to the gift of intuition. I would ignore my own truths and do whatever others wanted me to do—or what they told me do. And you know what that did? It made me hate myself more. It made me resentful and angry at others because I secretly wished that they would have told me what I wanted to hear. Or better yet—that they would have encouraged me to trust my own judgment. The truth is (as I have learned) that it is not their job, but mine. And while I have been fortunate enough to have a few important people (Christine Farber) constantly remind me that I know what’s best for me—the work itself and putting this into action? That came from me. Today, I celebrate that with prayers of gratitude and a commitment to always listen to my intuition no matter what. Because I am strong, capable, and smart.
Treat Myself with Kindness
What better way to love yourself (and honor that love) than to talk to yourself with kindness, love and care. In order to put this into action, I simply pretend I am one of my children and ask myself “how would you talk to Molly or Nora?” If they skipped the gym 3 days in a row, I certainly would not make them feel lazy, ashamed and full or regret—so, why do I do that to myself? That isn’t self-love at all. That is self-torture! Now, if I am experiencing disappointment with myself, I talk to myself with kindness.
Okay, okay, I know I said eating chocolate leaves me feeling bloated and blah, but I mean, come on… I still love chocolate and I always will. I have discovered that if I purchase a more sophisticated, luxurious chocolate, I am less likely to over-indulge and be left feeling like an Oompa Loompa. So, in honor of the self-love I worked so hard to cultivate, February is the month to order only the best chocolates—and indulge in moderation. Hilliards Chocolates and Munsons are my go-tos for special occasion chocolates.
Share the (Self) Love
I think it is especially important for me to share my journey from self-loathing to self-love. As a woman and as a mother, it isn’t always easy to say I love myself out loud—but it is so important. You never know who is struggling to accept themselves, trust themselves or treat themselves with love, compassion and kindness and sharing my personal journey may help or may prompt someone to ask for help. Self-love is the foundation of my happiness these days. Without it, life is stressful, painful and sad. And so, I use this month—and maybe even the 14th day of this month—to share the so-important message to women (and men alike) to love yourself today, this month and every day thereafter! If you are struggling to do that, ask for help. Because life is beautiful when you love the body you’re in, the mind you have and the person you are! And I assure you—you are loveable, you are good enough, and you are worthy.