Wednesday, February 10, 2010

love thyself

Valentine's day is coming up this weekend. I always love this time of year, it is a welcome splash of colour and excitement in an otherwise gray and dull time of year.

This is also a time of year for many that is filled with an uncomfortable expectation to spend exhorbarant amounts of money on flowers, chocolate and fancy dinners. Some people resent this holiday as yet another commercial machine fueled by Hallmark to both make you spend and feel inadequate.

At the beginning of the year a friend of mine sent me an email sharing the view points of 8 year olds on love. The one that stuck out the most to me was a response that said " If you want to really know what love is, start with the person you hate the most." That is powerful stuff.

It would be easy for me to think of a few people that truly challenge my ability to love. However, as I really thought about it, I realized that the person I need to learn to love the most is me. Ok, that is just about as cliche as a Hallmark card saying I love you. But it's true. I wouldn't really say I hate myself, but if I was dating myself, I would have dumped me a long time ago. I know I'm not the only woman, and certainly not the only mother who treats herself like this.

I realized that if I could truly love myself, unconditionally, gently, with all the encouragement and positivity that I give my children, my husband, my friends then I could really change something. So while I'm all for loving your enemies, if we could learn to love ourselves, really love ourselves, we could change the world. Because when that love is there, the ego, self-loathing, self-destructive talk walks right out the door like a bad relationship.

So I wish you a very happy Valentine's day this year. Not in the candy and flowers kind of way, but in the "You are a beautiful gift to the world and I hope you see that" kind of way. Treat yourself to something this year, you are the most important Valentine in your life.



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