One of the most fundamental things I’ve learnt in my life is the most important (and intimate) relationship I will ever be in is the one I have with myself. And that is the relationship I need to love and care for the most.
It has taken me years to really start embracing this after spending all of my teens and most of my twenties searching for love outside of myself. Hoping and wishing that if I could just meet the right person that would love me enough and in the right way it would finally make me love myself.
What I didn’t realise is that I had it all backwards.
Most of the time the partners I chose directly mirrored the way I felt about myself. Evasive, unavailable, judgmental, stingy. I wondered why I kept finding myself with the same man in different pants each time. Until I really started to look deeper.
I treated myself the same way they were treating me. And it finally hit home.
If I really wanted to experience true love in my life, I was first going to have to fall madly in love with myself.
Since that epiphany and over the next 10 years I have spent a lot of time making peace with who I am. Learning to accept both my good qualities and my more challenging qualities. Learning to be less judgmental and more compassionate.
And learning how to listen to what my needs are and then learning what I need to do to take care of them.
I began buying myself the roses I always longed for from someone else. I took myself out on dates, I soaked myself in bubble baths and even massaged my own feet. I listened when I needed attention and I took care with what I heard.
And I did this all imperfectly as I know I am only human.
I came to realise that the very same things I would judge about myself I would judge in all my partners. The very same traits I found challenging in myself I would find challenging in my partners. And the more I became kinder, softer, more loving, compassionate and more forgiving with myself…… well guess what happened next!
Now I am married and a mother and nothing and everything has changed.
Still the most important and intimate relationship I have to care for is the one with myself. Because the more I take care of this, the more loving I am with my partner and my daughter. And guess what….. the more worthy I feel about myself the less I need this to be fulfilled by my husband, which allows him to just be himself and love me in his own special way.
So, as we come closer to Valentine’s Day I think the most important thing to remember is make yourself your own valentine this Year!! YES, let your boyfriends, partners, husbands love you and shower you with love – but make sure you do it for yourself as well.
As the most important and intimate relationship you will EVER have is the one with YOU. And this is the one that you’re guaranteed to be in until the day you die – so better learn to feel good in it right!
Here are some great ways to shower yourselves with love this Valentine’s Day:
WRITE YOURSELF A LOVE LETTER
No, you don’t have to recite poetry or Shakespeare here. Write the things you really need to hear right now. Tell yourself all the things you’ve been longing to hear from someone else but never seem to hear them. Tell yourself what would help you feel more loved, seen, heard and cared for.
Then fold the letter up, put it in an envelope and put a stamp on it with your address on. Then post it!!! YUP!
It’s amazing when it pops through your letter box and yes, even for a few seconds you may even forget it’s from you.
DO SOMETHING SACRED FOR YOURSELF ON VALENTINE’S DAY
Now make sure you really think about what it is that would feel good to you. As really all we ever want is to know someone has put some thought into it for us right? Do you love roses? Buy yourself some roses then put them somewhere you will see them every day. Do you want a massage? Take yourself for one? Do you love candles? Buy yourself a candle. Small or big, the important thing is that it is an act of love and thought for you.
TAKE YOURSELF OUT ON A DATE
Now I know this may be hard on actual Valentine’s Day as you may be surrounded by couples! But any day that week or whatever day feels good to you. Take yourself out on a date. Just you. No one else is allowed to come. Take yourself somewhere that you really want to go to that would feel like an actual date. And don’t let anyone else gatecrash.
Imagine if you were going out on a date with someone and they brought a friend along! Puh! You’d be pissed right. Don’t do it to yourself.
And don’t stand yourself up, show up for yourself. I do this exercise regularly. I’ve taken myself to the cinema, art galleries, the zoo, my favourite crystal shop, and exhibitions and to workshops.
WRITE YOURSELF LOVE NOTES
This one is my favourite. Leave little notes for yourself all around the house to remind you every single day, multiple times a day that you are loved.