This month of February is one of my favourites (August is my second fave- school is out, and December because it’s Christmas!) not only because it’s my birth month. February is also Black History Month, when attention is focused on the contributions and achievements of African Americans to the United States and the world at large. It’s also the month of love, this February, they say. It’s the month that has the one day where everyone declares their unrequited love to someone they truly admire or love deeply – February 14.
Loving you is easy….
There are many variations as to the origins of Valentine; some vow it’s a pagan tradition, others maintain it’s originally a Christian tradition whilst some also believe it’s just a creation by card makers, florists and chocolatiers to cash in on the day. Whatever you decide to believe, I have chosen to accept that to have one day where many people the world over chose to express love in their own way…that cannot be a bad thing, can it? When you think about the irreparable effects of COVID-19 since 2020, you may just realise how fleeting life is and why we should cherish the ones we love and show them how much we do love them in the best way we can.
I have come to find out, after many, many years of misunderstanding what love is, that the most important person you must show love to first is yourself; yes, self-love is actually a thing. I grew up in an era where you had to show love to those you loved and expect love in return – and that expectation can be one’s own undoing. Why, you may ask (because it makes perfect sense to love and only expect to be loved in return, no?). Well, love is a choice, my dear. Think about it; you buy a dog for a pet and choose to love them. You make friends and then choose to love them. You find a TV series and you choose to love it. Love, in my opinion is a choice. Albeit the love you have for your parents, siblings and family members is not by choice; that is, to a large extent, by nature.
So if love is a choice, as I believe, then why don’t you choose to love you first? Why would you rather love someone more than you love yourself? That kind of love can be considered unhealthy and altogether burdensome – to both you and your loved one. Loving yourself first leads to discovering who you really are.
What do I mean by selflove and how do does one express it?
Self-love is intentionally taking care of you and who you are. It’s about getting to know you and giving yourself the time, love and attention to refresh your mind, body, heart and soul. You will realise that when you are stressed out you become impatient, and easily irritable with others.
Self-love is taking yourself first, for it’s only when you begin to take care of you first that you can take proper care or truly love others. I find the airplane analogy of self-love (in an emergency) to be the best ; “in the event of a loss in cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop automatically from the panel above your seat. Pull the mask towards you to start the flow of oxygen. Place the mask over your mouth and nose and breathe normally. The bag attached to the mask may not inflate. This is normal. If you are traveling with small children or others who may need assistance, put on your own mask first before assisting your child or companion.” You can only save (insert “love”) someone else when you have saved (again, insert “love”) yourself first
This Valentine weekend (Valentine’s Day is Monday February 14, but you would know that already) do something you’ve always wanted to do for yourself or find things you can do for yourself. Discover and love you this Valentine…you’re worth it!