Yesterday was Valentines Day – a day that celebrates love – new love, just beginning and old love fully formed and mature.
In our modern day it has also become a day for the “self partnered” (I love that phrase) to focus on loving themselves! On celebrating all the wonderful things about being single, all the wonderful things that they know and can affirm about themselves that enable them to love themselves and be happy in their skin and current single situation!
I was “self partnered” for a long – long – long time and during the latter part of it DESPERATE to find someone to love and be loved by. In my younger days I had developed some rather impressive “self love” muscles – I had to as I was quite universally hated at school and six form college by everyone (including a fair amount of the teaching staff) – and so apart from my family I had few people to rely on for positive feedback!
As I grew older however I became less self confident and in many ways I still feel that way now! It’s an odd and wondrous thing – youth – a time when we feel immortal and invulnerable (maybe because we don’t truly understand what we have to loose) and for some of us (though I certainly see not all) a time when we can love and accept ourselves more readily than when we are older. This certainly being the case for me.
A big part of self love – I think – being self acceptance – brought about through honesty – our ability to acknowledge who and what we are as fact, not necessarily with sadness, not necessarily with regret but rather with simple honest truth. To celebrate it and in some circumstances change it, to learn to live with it or hide it or simply focus on those other things – that we have in abundance – as well as those things more eternal that we carry inside.
Coming out as gay was a big part of this for me, being true to who I am and no longer afraid to share it with friends and family and the world BUT equally as key was acknowledging that I am at best rather plain looking and not super attractive to my own kind – my fellow homosexuals! My assets lie in my personality (I like to think) my wit and kindness, my thoughtfulness and creative gifts, my spiritual talents and magical nature and so I have sought to accentuate these in lieu of the lack of other things – like obvious beauty. As a result of this I have found others with similar gifts and surrounded myself with them, relishing in their company. They enable me to love myself better by reflecting back to me the value of that which I possess – seen in them and sometimes in their eyes for me.
These days although I still admire beauty in others I see it as rather a double edged sword because it is so transitory – beauty fades and time passes quickly and sometimes in retrospect pictures of who we once were and what we once looked like can be bitter companions. Plus all that primping and preening seems exhausting to me and rather a waste of time – I’d much rather spend longer eating my breakfast in my Tiger Onesie than waxing and plucking and exfoliating in the bathroom!
However you might love your self then – whether it be with others, through others, alone, with honesty – via affirmation, counselling, journalling or through simple self acceptance – self love – I think – is key. Key to spiritual evolution, key to self healing, key to living a happy life and leaving behind a happy legacy. It can feel at times underwhelming – to know that what makes you love yourself more is your lack of desire to strive to be the best and at times overwhelming – to see what you mean to others, what you do for them, how you make them feel and it can be a strange mixture of the two.
To love ones self is to love that part of you which its divine – in all its glory and all it wonder and all its mundanity and smallness because that is what the divine is – all these things and more.
Strive then to be above all honest and content with who you are – fall in love with your limits and potentials – accept the wonder of your own nature and creation and its mundanity and love – love – love.