Happy Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t going to write a post today but as I was sat in church this evening, listening to a speaker from America, I felt inspired to speak about something that was laying on my heart, maybe something that a few of you might need to hear today.
This is the first year I’ve been engaged on Valentine’s Day and the second year I’ve been dating Joe. It’s lovely, wonderful and romantic, so everything should be fantastic on this day of love, right?
Well, it is, but not just because I’ve got Joe. Recently, I’ve been on a huge mission to love myself. As a Christian, this should be easy: I know Jesus loves me, so I should love myself. The thing is, even though I know this to be true, I have still always struggled with loving myself.
I’ve heard it said before that to become lovable, you have to love yourself first. Whilst I agree with this to some extent, I also think it’s ok to simply be on a journey to love yourself, and to allow someone else – God, if you’re a Christian – to love yourself and possibly show you how to love yourself. God does this everyday; some days I find it harder to believe, but He constantly shows me He loves me, and my faith always keeps that spark of belief alive. Joe also does this everyday: he treats me so well and constantly shows me that he loves me, even when I don’t always think I love myself.
What if you don’t have someone to love you? What if you don’t love yourself? What if you don’t believe that you’re lovable? I am no expert in this area and as I said before, it’s still something I struggle with, but I’ll share a few tips that have helped me out on my journey to self-love.
1. Accept who you are and embrace it.
As I’ve stated before, acceptance is so important for a life of happiness and confidence. This means completely accepting who you are, even the bits you don’t always like. Loving and liking are two different things: you can love yourself without necessarily liking yourself. Of course, the more we accept who we are and embrace our own individuality, the more we’ll both like and love ourselves. Start accepting yourself by picking out all of the qualities that make you unique and are part of who are as a person.
2. Challenge the negative; indulge in the positive.
Imagine a field that you walk through every day. If you follow the same path, it becomes easier with time. I’m no psychologist and I don’t know that much about the inner-workings of the human brain; however, I do know (from personal experience) that if you repeatedly allow our brain to say negative things about yourself, it will become easier over time, just like walking through that field. Challenge this will positive affirmations about yourself and start to walk a new path of positivity, self-belief and love.
3. Pray (go on, give it a try).
Whether you’re a Christian or not, I challenge you to try praying when you’re not feeling the love from yourself. It’s just like talking out loud (or in your head, but I find it’s easier out loud) except you’re directing it to God. It’s never good to bottle up negative thoughts about yourself, so try saying them out loud. You might find they sound ridiculous when you say them to God and can just blow the thoughts away, or that you suddenly feel your spirits have been lifted and you’re able to love yourself a little bit more.
So there you are: three small things you can try to add to your daily life to help you love yourself just that little bit more, and become your own Valentine every day of the year.
To end, here are some photos of mine and Joe’s Valentine’s evening together, including our amazing Marks and Spencer £20 meal deal and the delicious Valentine’s gingerbread heart Joe baked for me.
How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
What are your top tips for loving yourself?
Have you ever tried praying before?