Self Love as An Every Day Way of Life

By GG Renee Hill

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Be honest. Do you see it as a reminder to shower love on yourself and your loved ones? Or do you see it as a reminder of what’s lacking in your life?

I used to be very insecure about Valentine’s Day. I dreaded it. If I was dating, would my partner live up to expectations? Would my Valentine’s Day story be enough to satisfy all the inquiries from friends and random people trying to compare their love with mine? I didn’t want it. Sometimes I would even make things up, trying to deliver what I thought people wanted to hear.

Let's face it. Sometimes we are so focused on appearances that we don’t take the time to dig deeper and find real, honest-to-goodness peace with our situations. If you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, first and foremost, make it a celebration of self-love.

Whether you are single, dating or married, you must love yourself unconditionally first. We cannot live in true happiness when we entertain false assumptions and fail to value the relationship that we have with ourselves.

Our unrealistic beliefs about relationships set us up for disappointment and downright misery. Too often we think that personal fulfillment should come as a result of our relationships instead of being a foundation upon which to build them. Even if you are fortunate enough to find a man who lives up to your expectations and wants to be with you; happiness will still elude you if you are more concerned with the surface qualities of your union than the honesty and intimacy that is necessary to sustain it.

When we’re single, we want someone to buy us a ring, put us on a pedestal and be our "plus one". We think that we need someone to save us from the doom and gloom of being the last one of our friends to settle down. It's no wonder that we get so frantic! I've heard guys say that there's something wrong with a woman over a certain age that has never been married. I have heard that the pickings are so slim that if you don't get yours now, there won't be any good men left. Love is not patient and kind, love is URGENT! Our biological clocks are ticking away.

Even when we do settle down, we can lose the intimacy of the connection when we get caught up in playing roles and keeping up appearances. If you are already secure with yourself, you won’t be looking to him to pick up the script that you've written and deliver passionate lines of devotion to you on cue so you can be the envy of your friends. He's a human being with needs, fears, strengths and weaknesses; not a faceless, dreamlike image that goes through the motions of loving you without any complexity or surprises. A healthy relationship is not about playing roles and meeting expectations, but about finding a middle ground on which both people feel respected and treasured as individuals.

It all starts with self-love and awareness. No matter what comes and goes in this life, you will always have yourself. You should protect, nurture and handle yourself with the utmost care. The more you love on yourself, the less tolerant you will be of people in your space who don't value you the same way. Self-love is what makes it possible to exist in your relationships without losing yourself. You don’t need a holiday to prove anything about love to yourself or anyone else, when love is your everyday way of life.