February has long been celebrated as a month of love. Typically the cards and gifts are focused on reaching out to someone you adore. While not everyone has a significant other as Valentine’s Day comes around, we all have one special person we can focus our love on . . . . Ourselves! I want to talk about the importance of self-love - not self-absorption, not self-aggrandizement, but self-respect.
Everyone wants to be loved and while it’s easy to look externally for validation and security, it’s actually more important that you learn to first love yourself. By doing so it allows you to make healthy choices and meaningful decisions. That leads to a more fulfilling life when you learn that your happiness comes from within. Being comfortable with yourself first allows you to pour love into others and rejoice in their successes. You become a light to others when your glow comes from the inside out.
The way you go about doing this is multi-faceted.
- Practice self-care of your body and mind by taking time for yourself - it’s not selfish, it’s necessary.
- Pray to God for wisdom as you take the time to figure out who you are and what you want.
- Write down your values and ethical guidelines, in other words, where you draw the line.
- Think about your own strengths and weaknesses and where you would like grow and what goals you want to focus on in the next month, year and five years.
- And just as you should affirm the things you like about yourself and your accomplishments, it is important to embrace your failures - we all have them. They are part of who you are so fine tune what you’ve learned from them that makes you better. No part of our journey includes perfection.
- So forgive yourself.
- And be kind to yourself.
Doing these tasks help you when faced with knowing where you need to say no to something. They help you understand your boundaries and avoid ethical dilemmas. It can help you get through the challenging times when you know where you want to go and why.
Self-love empowers you to pursue your dreams. It can help your boost your confidence and be your genuine self. And once you work to love and accept yourself and be honest about who you are, you encourage others to do the same. You connect to others on a deeper level. You are able to open yourself up to truly love and serve others.
Did you see how that works? Loving yourself means accepting who you are, and working to become better. To Live a Life With Meaning, you have to love yourself first. Don’t settle for less than you deserve, but don’t ever stop growing either. It’s the gift of true love.
February 11, 2021 Meaningful Moment