Many people spent this past weekend indulging in boxed chocolates and showing extra amounts of affection to their significant other. For some of us, Valentine’s Day wasn’t a day to celebrate the love you’ve grown with a partner, but more to celebrate the love you’ve grown within yourself. Self-love is found at the root of all love and if you had bitter feelings about being single this holiday, you may want to check into learning more about this love.
They say you can’t love another person to your best ability until you’ve learned to love yourself first. Although the concept “loving yourself” is fairly easy to say, the actions to follow through don’t always equal a walk in the park. Love and it’s levels are very complex and I can testify that finding and living in self love is a life long journey. For love to exist, there must be respect. As a woman, if respect wasn’t something you were taught being raised, finding respect for yourself is something you learn through experience. It may take a few times of being knocked down or intensely hurt to gain the inner strength and wisdom to always keep yourself first.
When I was in high school, I struggled with knowing and accepting what values were important to me. For a period of time, I put my personal values on the back burner to feel a pseudo-love. Through the time spent in that relationship, my self-respect decreased little-by-little over the years. I lost sight of what was important to me and I eventually lost myself. That was definitely a learning experience and I’ve spent many years after re-learning how to love and respect myself. No relationship is worth having if you are not truly happy; romantic, friendships, family, etc. I believe in taking the time to figure out exactly who you are so that you can be aware of not only what you need from a partner, but what you are capable of giving.
I spent this year’s Valentine’s Day doing things that made me happy inside. I spent time with myself, listening to music and recovering from this awful sinus infection. I thought about new ways to improve myself and continue discovering the love growing inside of me. It was nice to feel love all around me throughout the day, and I even received some chocolate. Who knows when I’ll have a significant other to celebrate the love we share on Valentine’s Day, but for now, it’s been very possible for me to spread my own love to others and feel great in return.
-Ashley E. Osborne