Being Your Own Valentine – Giving Yourself Love

With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching our society’s focus revolves around giving love. If only for the day, do we allow for the overt showering and outward expression of one of humanities most powerful emotions. That emotion is love. Love is in the air more than normal now, even if it's only for Valentine’s Day. However, while we may readily ask others (partners, family members, friends, etc.) to be our Valentine, the prospect of being your own Valentine may be scoffed at or even mocked. There is no shame in being your own Valentine as it shows that there is a deeper understanding of what it takes in giving love to yourself.

This tip is not here to debate the merits of Saint Valentine’s Day as a legitimate holiday - instead it is designed to invite a conscious, and gentle exploration into the capacity for giving love to yourself. This tip is also for isolating and understanding how what we so readily give to others is very seldom given to ourselves. After reading this tip in its entirety I hope that it brings you one step closer to being your own Valentine.

To begin I will outline the three beginning steps to being your own valentine and it involves giving big healthy doses of love.

Step 1 to being your own Valentine: Understanding Where Your Love is Coming From

Create a list of all the ways that you love others. If you’re not sure of how you give love here are a few ways you may give love without realizing.

  • Giving small tokens of affection:
    1. Ex. Offering to cook a favorite meal for a friend
    2. Writing a kind heartfelt note of gratitude or appreciation
  • Being compassionate towards another and offering a listening ear
  • Spending quality time involved in an activity
  • Discussing thoughts and opinions that are near and dear to them

Now, looking at the list you created. How many of these are being applied to you? What other goals do you aspire to when showing love? Are they realistic? Think about the ways that you display love to others in order to begin the transition towards self-love and becoming your own Valentine.

If there are barriers in applying this list to your own self. There is a possibility that the implementation difficulties may arrive from a more emotional barrier. The challenge of creating a positive relational change with yourself can be daunting however it is possible. The emotional challenge may stem from self pressure to show up only for others instead of yourself or you may be unrealistic about what it looks like to give yourself love (Ex. I need 6 hours and I don’t have the time or I need x amount of money to get what I really want.)

The transition to being your own valentine means loving yourself with the same capacity and effort. Regardless of any perceived deficits.

Step 2 to being your own Valentine: Identifying the potential barriers within.

Think about the ways that you’re showing love to yourself. How many in the list created are you applying to yourself? Many people who try this activity find that they are actively supporting others more than their own self. Let’s look at where the breakdown may occur.

  • Observe your self-talk
    • How easy is it to talk yourself out of doing a particular activity that you like?
    • Does the self-talk become negative? When?
    • Is it hard for you to give yourself a token of affection?
  • Create a positive mental attitude (PMA)
    • Journaling about what you’re grateful for is a wonderful first time to creating a positive mental attitude. You might even consider writing yourself a love letter. What better way to be your own valentine than to write a heartfelt letter of all your wonderful qualities without any disqualifiers.
  • Self-Compassion
    • Involves understanding our own humanity which means forgiveness and embracing all of our shortcomings and our strengths with love and understanding. Stimulating positivity comes from within and if you’re capable of giving that love to others, then you are more than capable of giving that love to yourself. Even if it takes a few tries it is well worth the effort and intention.
  • Supporting yourself with goals
    • The next time you ponder your goals, design the habits and systems used to manifest them as well.

Step 3: Being your own Valentine involves constant gentle effort and intention.

  • Choose a number from 1-99 (1 to the lowest to 99 the highest) what number would you rate your self-love
  • For example let’s say you love yourself at a level of 50. Increase that 25% to a level of 75. What would that increase look like? How about 40% more ?
    • Ex: Cooking your own favorite meal and enjoying it, or asking someone that you know is a good cook to make your favorite meal
    • Writing a love letter to yourself without any disqualifiers
  • If you’re feeling very courageous contemplate the idea of what it would look like to love yourself less and instead do the opposite. If you’re struggling with ways brainstorming how to be your own Valentine here are some further suggestions.
    • Would it involve more time dedicated to your favorite hobby?
    • More time spent away from your phone?
    • Spending some of the money that you earn on yourself?

Now with all of these identified, take the next week to intentionally implement what you have come up with and in no time at all you not only be your own Valentine but the best Valentine that there is.