A couple of years ago, I was a determined singleton. The idea of Valentines Day made my toes curl, and not in a good way…. Walking past shop windows displaying fluffy teddys carrying “I WUV U” hearts, triggered a 20 minute flow of profanities from me focussed towards the retail opportunists.

As any true hater does, I organised a ‘Down with Valentines Day’ party.  Singles only, no red allowed. Loads of alcohol and everyone wore anti-valentines day slogans… It was a party of note.

I’m happy to share that I’m through that phase.  Now, inspite of the odd soft mutter still about the retail opportunists, I celebrate Valentines Day in a big way. I celebrate love in its truest form.  I celebrate any kind of love: motherly love, daughterly love, friendship love, puppy love….. The hunt for that tingling heart stopping romantic love and the disdain that I felt at its blaring absence, is now gone. It has been replaced with gratitude at having a multitude of flavours of love in my life, especially self-love.

What spurred on this change? You may ask… well I’m not quite sure.  The year after the Down with Valentines Day party, whilst I was contemplating as to whether I should hold another – I realised that while it was fun, it was really kind of a sad state of affairs…  it really wasn’t cool to be a hater and perhaps a change of context would be in order. At that time I stumbled across a passage from the scriptures that said, “Only when you love yourself, you can love others.  Love your own identity, your body, your past, your thoughts”. I took a good hard look at myself and realised that before I could attract love in my life, I needed to learn to love myself.  Truly learn to love myself.

We often talk about self-love, as though it’s easy… what I learnt is it takes quite some doing to get there.  I remember feeling completely selfish  and egotistical initially, cringing at the act of standing in front of the mirror saying out loud to myself “I love me, I love all the things about me, I love my mind, my body (eek!), my spirit” etcetera etcetera…   Feeling guilty when I took time out from the family to read my favourite book or go for a facial.  When I shared these ‘shameful’ acts and my thoughts with my coach, she just chuckled… and asked me “How can you pour from an empty cup?”

It really got me thinking, that if I was to embrace the concept of self-love and to bring love into my life, what would I need to do to move from the feeling of guilt to acceptance?

And here’s what I decided:

  1. Let go of the guilt and selfish feeling
  2. Remind myself that you can’t charge another battery when yours is flat (and the same with love)
  3. Do one thing a week to show myself love, something that is just for me and that gives me pleasure
  4. Use affirmations daily to support my self-love growth
  5. Look for love in all its forms around me and be grateful
  6. Give what I want to receive
  7. Surrender to it …

Conversation Heart Cookies

So I invite you to spend 2 minutes now and think about :

  1. Do I want more love in my life?
  2. How much do I really really love myself?
  3. What actions and thinking would serve me going forward?
  4. What do I choose to take on? And from when?

And surrender to it….

I’ll leave you today with a wonderful quote from Lao Tsi

“Duty without love causes discontent, life without love causes meaninglessness.”

Sending you much love and light… Tanya

Dear-Self

Tanya Long 2017/03/06