Many years ago, before partner and toddler, a few single girlfriends and I would go to a bar and drink ourselves silly on Valentine’s Day, upset that our respective Prince Charmings (mine was Ryan Gosling, obviously!) had not whisked us away, saved us from the mundane torture of reality and declared their undying love to us.
To be honest, I’ve also fallen victim to feeling sad and low (read: miserable and grumpy) when roses weren’t delivered to my office by a secret admirer on V Day. But I’ve come along way since then.
How? What was the key to letting go of the daydream that my Knight would ride in and save me?
Learning to love myself first.
Self-love is a hot topic lately with many Life Coaches, Celebrities and Spiritual Gurus waxing lyrical about the importance of loving yourself before you can love another. And I’m right behind them singing in tune.
How many times have you placed all your romantic hopes and dreams on a man, expecting him to save you, pay off your debts and make your life incredible, only to have them dashed, your heart broken, confused, angry or feeling used?
Now think of a time when you have been over-the-moon happy with life, following your dreams, planning trips overseas with girlfriends and focused on yourself when a man suddenly appears in the picture and your caught completely off guard.
Perhaps you know someone who met the man of her dreams when she decided to stop looking for a bloke and focus on her career and herself?
The truth is, the very act of telling yourself, either consciously or sub-consciously, that you are willing to love yourself first is when you will eventually find love in another.
(Side note: the universe can also tell when you’re controlling the situation and only pretending to love yourself because you’re inner energy never lies. So if you say you love yourself, but don’t really mean it, it won’t work. )
Author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love, Committed) once asked herself how did she get so lucky finding a man who cooks for her every night and loved her unconditionally? The answer was, she had practiced loving herself so much over the years that she was able to recognise it in another person when it arrived.
In short, she allowed this man to treat her the way she knew she deserved to be treated and did not sacrifice herself to fit his needs or agenda, because she loved herself too much.
I adore this revelation because relationships are a reflection of our own self-worth.
So until we are ready to reflect true love from our heart and soul, a partner will not fit the Prince Charming fantasy. Ironically, when we find love in ourselves, the fantasy no longer exists.
Not sure what this self-love thing really is and need a few pointers? Here are three tools to help you reconnect with yourself and find your inner source of love this Valentine’s Day.
1. Make a Gratitude List
Write down three things every day that you are grateful for in your life. Think about how these things make you feel. That is, they should fill you with joy from the inside, not just provide passing happiness like the first cup of coffee in the morning. Really think about it and make your list every day for at least 7 days.
2. Watch Your Words
The words we think and speak are fuel to our emotions, thoughts and actions. Listen to how you speak for a week and write down every negative comment you make. It can be as simple as “I can’t do that” to “I look awful in this dress” etc… but the key is being able to reflect on the words you’re using in everyday language as they will feed your beliefs and keep you trapped. Try a few affirmations with these free Woman Rising motivational cards.
3. Visualise It
Imagine what your life would look like when you did love yourself more and you believed in your self-worth 1000%. Hang inspirational pictures, create a dedicated ‘Self-Love’ Pinterest board or describe, draw and depict the image you visualise in your journal. If you can see yourself in that picture than you will start to slowly shift towards that image and create change.
There are many other tips to self-love and happiness in my eBook Handbag Guide to Happiness. Subscribe to Woman Rising (just drop your name and best email in the fields above) to receive your free copy instantly.
Now it’s your turn.
Have you got your own story of finding love only after you learned to love yourself? How did you make this shift? Or have you recognised any traits that you wish to share with us?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Happy Valentine’s Day x