Be Your Own Valentine

“The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid—all in the same moment.” – Brene Brown

Love is complicated. It involves vulnerability and risk. Love always involves loss. Whether it’s through divorce or death, the chance that we take in giving our hearts to someone else is that our hearts will one day ache with loss. This is the part of love that we don’t see in fairytales and romantic movies. The part that hurts. And when we see others happily in love, it can hurt more.

As we celebrate LOVE on February 14th this month, let’s think about how we can fill the empty places in our hearts. There are two sources to soothe loneliness that do not involve other people, spouses, or partners. One is ourselves. The other is God, however you perceive God to be. (If the term “God” is unrelatable for you, think of “Source”… the  energy or goodness in the universe).

Love yourself today and allow yourself to feel loved by that which you cannot see.

  • Talk to yourself with lovingkindness.
  • Slow down and look at the beauty in nature all around you.
  • Treat yourself to a meaningful gift.
  • Give your love to someone who needs and appreciates it.
  • Pamper your body with a bath, facial, foot soak, massage, or a fine meal.
  • Nurture your spirit beautiful music, some inspirational reading, meditation, or prayer.
  • Hug yourself and say out loud, “I AM LOVED.”

This Valentine’s Day, shield yourself from the commercialized romance and heart shaped candy boxes. Put some blinders on and focus instead on loving yourself. By the way, isn’t it interesting that St. Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers?

Deirdre Shaffer, MSW, LCSW



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