will you be my valentine?
How can I not talk about LOVE
on Valentine's Day?
Every year on Valentine’s Day, we look outside ourselves to feel loved by someone else — our significant other, our children, our dog… And we often forget that the most important and fundamental love we can experience is from ourselves. As we truly come to love ourselves, we can operate from a place of love in the world and freely give love to everyone around us.
At root & branch, I strive to examine the root cause of health struggles, instead of the just surfaces symptoms or behaviors. And one of the underlying issues that keeps so many of us stuck is a feeling of unworthiness or a sense that we are lacking in some fundamental way. We experience shame (“I am bad”) when we make what we perceive as “mistakes” or demonstrate our “weaknesses.” We may rationally understand that no one operates as their best self all the time, but we are unable to translate that understanding to our thoughts about ourselves.
Unfortunately, we cannot truly heal our bodies and our health from a place of lack. It comes from a place of peace, self-acceptance, and love.
It is so much more worthwhile (& enjoyable!) to operate in the world from a place of LOVE. To be filled with love and compassion for ourselves until it overflows into the lives of those around us.
Is it really okay to love myself? Won't that just be prideful?
This feeling of self-love is totally different than pride. Pride is thinking we are better than someone else because of something we did. True love of self is to recognize that every human is worthy of love and belonging, including you. We are ALL worthy of love.
This kind of love doesn’t come naturally to most of us. We have to consciously choose it. We have to decide to fill our own empty cup. To be our own best advocate. To nourish ourselves first so we have something of value to give others.
I realize this is much easier said than done. As I work with clients, they frequently express frustration with what they see as "failure" on their part. It is challenging to accept that their value has nothing to do with their weight, their health, their appearance or their accomplishments. Their infinite value is comes solely from being themselves, from being human.
If you want to genuinely feel this unconditional love for yourself and for others, it starts with small steps each day that gently move you towards loving and accepting ourselves completely. We can consciously choose to think positive thoughts about ourselves.
The Health Coach Institute, where I received my training, put together a simple worksheet that can help you practice using the muscle of self-love in simple, easy steps. Download load it for free and start practicing a little more self-love today. You'll be amazed at the difference such simple practices can make!
Let me know what you are think are the biggest barriers we face in seeking to fully love ourselves.