A New Twist on Valentine’s Day: ‘I Love You, But I Love Me More’
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I love you, but I love me more.-Samantha, Sex and the City
February 14th is the day when we celebrate love, traditionally of the romantic kind. But how about we take a slightly different spin on this year? Valentine’s Day is a day that is ripe for honoring all forms of love – love for friends, family, pets, co-workers, and most importantly, yourself.
Why is self-love primary? The short answer is that it is the foundation for everything else in your life. Want great health, a successful career, flourishing relationships and emotional contentment? These things often come easily when you do the hard work of loving yourself, flaws and all.
One of the queens of self-love, albeit fictional, was Samantha in the hit TV show-turned-movie franchise, Sex and the City. She unapologetically put her needs first and foremost. She boldly and confidently made choices in relationships, career, and so on. Where did this confidence come from? Was she just born with it? Was it a result of her killer wardrobe, her amazing body, her financial means? Nope. Loving herself fully and unconditionally allowed Samantha to move boldly and confidently in the world. As illustrated in the quote above, she was willing to let go of romantic love if it wasn’t serving her highest purpose in life. She made it crystal clear that her most pressing duty and obligation was to love herself fully, no matter what.
Your self-love is a gift to others. If you truly care about others, you will bring them your best self.
Let’s look at relationships and see how this works.
Oftentimes, when someone is lacking in self-love, they come into relationships from a place of neediness and desperation, looking for validation of their own self worth from their partner. This need for validation can often feel insatiable. Inevitably in this scenario, your partner will fail – no one else can fill the empty hole inside of us. When there isn’t enough love, attention, or whatever form the neediness takes in the relationship to fill that gaping, insatiable hole inside, the relationship typically ends (often with lots of drama) and a new cycle of searching for “love” and the inevitable disappointment that follows ensues.
Oftentimes, when someone is lacking in self-love, they come into relationships from a place of neediness and desperation, looking for validation of their own self worth from their partner.-Dr. Joy Jacobs
No one else can fill the emptiness inside of you.
This is why loving yourself is a precondition for healthy and satisfying relationships. Loving yourself allows you to show up fully for others, to be a truly loving presence for them, enabling you to both give and receive.
Ok, that’s all well and good you might say, but “I have (or had) an eating disorder,” or “I am an alcoholic,” or “I hate myself for eating too much, for drinking too much, for the way my body looks, and for the way I’ve disappointed others. It’s impossible for me to love myself. Who could?!”
In these moments, self-love is more crucial than ever. When you feel like you are in the moments of greatest darkness, you must be kind and loving toward yourself. Being your own punishing parent is a set up for spiraling further down a very dark path. Times of darkness require you to step up in your own self-love practices, to be kinder and more gentle with yourself than ever. Loving yourself is the first step to getting out of the abyss.
Being kind to yourself in the times of great hardship will allow you to experience the transformational power of self love. It will allow you to experience the magnitude of what unconditional positive regard for yourself can do to help you harness the resources you need to change and to create that life that you’ve always dreamed of but always seemed to be unobtainable.
How about this: On Valentine’s Day, no matter what, look in the mirror and say, “I love you.” Make a date with yourself, where your happiness and satisfaction come first.
Wishing you a miraculous day, filled with (self) love.