How are you feeling about yourself in this very moment?
I believe this is an especially valid question on Valentine's Day.
I'm sure most of us have fallen victim to the media's and Big Marketing's presentation of Valentine's Day. It's hard not to absorb, and then want, the deluge of messages about romantic love and all that it should be. After all, it's part of the human condition to want to love and to be loved. But where do we direct that love? I submit we tend to focus all that love outside of ourselves.
We give love away freely and fully to our children, as we should.
We're possibly a little less giving of our love with our significant others, but we still focus an extraordinary amount of time and energy on our intimate relationships - again, as we should. There's a chance on this day of love that the focus on your intimate relationship is leaning toward the negative. Maybe you woke up seething at your partner, and seeing everything that's wrong with him or her. But the focus is still there.
Or, maybe romantic love isn't part of your life right now, and you say you're relieved (and I say I might believe you) or you feel really damn bad about it.
Let me ask you this: How much love do you give yourself on a day-to-day basis? How in love are you with your own self?
I'll be honest. This is a tough one for me. Just this morning I was beating myself up. Negative internal dialogue reigned my morning. I felt stupid and useless during the early hours of the day. My energy was low and dark. I wasn't feeling very valentine-y toward myself or anyone in the world.
If you read my last post, Love the One You're With, you know I'm head over heels for my husband. But on the days when I don't love even the smallest bits of me, I am not loving my man the way he deserves to be loved. I nit-pick at my guy, I'm sullen and moody, nothing and no one makes me happy, not even my extremely handsome, funny, generous husband. I'm not saying that I don't love him during these times. I'm just saying if I could be kinder to myself, embrace all of who I am, make peace with me - that self-love would shine on through and wrap around my husband all the damn time.
Last night I was listening in on a call for The Ford Institute's Radical Reinvention program, a class for which I'm a student mentor. Julie, the class instructor, said this: "If we love ourselves, our lives will become a reflection of that."
And what a lovely reflection that would be.
So now, if you're up for it, I offer you a little Valentine's Day challenge. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and ask how you're feeling about yourself in this very moment.
If this is a question you truly want to contemplate, don't click away. Sit for a couple moments. Don't go unconscious. Be honest. For whatever answer comes to you is a step in the direction of wholeness. And loving all of who you are means you can love all of your present and future valentines.