Are you in love with you?
February is a wonderful month of celebration: Black History Month, American Heart Month, and of course Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I appreciate the elaborate celebration of love. Often the focus is on showing love for others.
While showing love for others is a beautiful thing, too often we do so without a firm foundation of loving ourselves.
"Love your neighbor ✅AS yourself" 🚫ABOVE yourself.
Here are some signs you may be loving others ABOVE yourself:
-Eating your feelings (physically or emotionally)
-Missing opportunities for personal growth
-Rescuing others instead of empowering them
-Always putting ourselves last
-Criticizing yourself unfairly
-Expectations not being met
However, when we love others AS ourselves, we develop a healthy sense of self-appreciation that leads to
-Empowerment to assert yourself without fear
-Make choices that help you
-Boundaries that protect you
-Releasing people, places, and circumstances that no longer serve us
-Asking for help
-Caring for yourself first, then others
-Embracing yourself: flaws and fabulousness
During the month of February, We'll focus on self-love and practical ways to cultivate self-love in our lives through the #EmbraceSelfLoveChallenge. Instructions on how to participate are at the end of this blog post.
Let's talk about how to E.M.B.R.A.C.E. & express self-love:
-Enjoy time by yourself
-Make yourself a priority
-Be kind to yourself
-Release people, places, and circumstances that no longer serve us
-Compliment yourself and others
Let's discuss each E.M.B.R.A.C.E. Self-Love sign in detail.
Enjoy Time By Yourself
When was the last time you had a date with yourself? Nothing fancy, just took some time to sit alone and enjoy your company.
A sign of healthy self-love is being able to enjoy your own company without feeling the need to fill the time with distractions.
There was a time when I always needed people or things to distract me from myself. Now I make it a priority to spend time with myself daily. It can be hard when we are pulled in many directions, but it's so critical even for just a few minutes in the morning or evening daily.
Today take some time to sit alone and write the top five things you love about yourself.
Make Yourself a Priority
Self-love is not selfish.
Do you feel exhausted from constantly pouring energy into others until you are only left with fumes at the end of the day?
Do you feel guilty if you do something for yourself instead of someone else?
I'll repeat: Self-love is not selfish.
Many of us grew up with examples of selfless women who cared so much for everyone else around them. They put their own wellness on the back burner.
The hidden message behind this is prioritizing yourself is selfish.
It's time to release this harmful hierarchy of care and embrace that your care is essential to caring for others. Self-care is a direct reflection of our love for ourselves.
Have you put yourself on your to-do list?
Do you love yourself to make time for your needs?
Be Kind to Yourself
Are you your biggest cheerleader?
Do you refuse to replay negative comments people have made to you?
Would you say the things you say about yourself to a loved one?
If you answered "No" to any of these questions, you might need a tune-up in self-compassion.
A kind thought makes you feel good about yourself and empowers you to positive change. In contrast, negative thoughts fill you with shame and other negative emotions that may produce short term results but in the long term don't last. I learned this first hand on my weight and wellness journey. In fact, the spark to my journey was my friend Kriss encouraging me to "Be nice to Sylvia. I like her"
On your journey to self-love optimization, I encourage you to "Be nice to [your name here]. I like her." But more importantly, do you like yourself enough to speak only kind words to yourself?
Release People, Places, Circumstances & Mindsets that No Longer Serve Us
Release is an important part of self-love.
When we hold onto people, places, and circumstances past their season in our lives, we end up:
The release allows us to reset and reclaim our peace so we can:
-Meet new people
-Awaken new possibilities
-Create a positive community
So what are you going to release today?
Do you downplay any compliment someone gives you?