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Celebrating Valentine's Day Learning to Love Ourselves!

By Diane Landsberg

The next holiday coming up is Valentine’s Day. It is when we express love for our spouses, parents, children, friends, and everyone else. This year I would suggest you express love to yourself. I am not suggesting you become a Narcissist (frequently attached to politicians). Self-love means accepting yourself as you are. As a parent, practicing self-love is a wonderful example to show to your children. If our children experience self-love, they can also experience self-worth and self-esteem. When all these positive concepts are in place, positive self-directed behavior will surly follow. This can help ensure that they are less likely to become a target of bullying and display their good character not to bully others. What better gift of example can you provide as a parent to teach self-confidence and self-compassion for oneself and others.

Something to think about…. How many times have you looked at your reflection in a mirror and said out loud or thought, “I hate my hair. Look at this ugly pimple, dark circles, wrinkles. I look so fat in this outfit. And too often, much worse! If a friend walked up to you and stated anything like this to you, they would no longer be your friend. So it is important that you stop saying these hurtful things to yourself and focus on self-love, which motivates you to make healthy choices in your daily life.

The way to practice self-love is to start by being kind, patient, compassionate and gentle to yourself. Think of it as how you try to treat others, because you care about them. It is a way of showing appreciation and value of them, while paying attention to their happiness and well-being.

A few ways to learn self-love are to accept how you are feeling, retrain your thoughts, admit your flaws and take action to fix them, forgive yourself, learn to say no to others, and practice positive affirmations with your children. I watched a video that had a daughter crying, and her Farther picked her up with a hug and told her to repeat after him. He said: I am beautiful, I am smart, I am strong, I am special, I get better each day, I am an unstoppable force of nature. By the end, she was no longer crying….but I was! I was so moved, and after watching that video, I knew I had the topic for this article.

So this Valentine’s Day, tell yourself how much you love yourself. Then share it with your family. I can guarantee it will be your best Valentine’s Day ever!

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