5 Ways to Honor Yourself This Valentine's Day
Valentine’s day is the day we celebrate our love for one another. It is also a day where the absence of a loved on is felt more profoundly than on most other days. On a day that is solely focused on romantic love, when stuffed bears, heart shaped candy boxes and valentine’s cards are inundating our senses what do we do when we are not in a romantic relationship? It has the potential to be a day of pain, longing and grief. A day we just want to get through and a day we dread leaving the house. A day where our loss seems unbearable.
Rather than dreading the upcoming day, I encourage you to celebrate this day by honoring yourself and giving yourself the love you so deeply deserve. There are many loving self care actions you can take to celebrate the long journey you have traveled. I encourage you to try any one of these suggestions. But then again, why not practice radical self love and try all of them!
1. Recognize how far you have come.
Wether you recently lost a loved one or wether you have traveled this life alone for a while, recognize how far you have come. Reflect on your time spent single and write down all the ways that you have grown and expanded. Maybe you have taken a road trip by yourself? Maybe you went to the movies by yourself for the first time? Maybe you spent your first holidays single and got through them with dignity and grace? No growth or experience big or small is ever wasted. We learn and grow from our difficulties. When we step over our fears and do something we could not have envisioned ever doing alone we expand. We gain self confidence and self worth. With each new bold step we become less willing to compromise in the future. If we are no longer afraid to do things alone, then we don’t need to abandon ourselves in a relationship for fear of not having a partner to do things with. Sure, we may still want companionship, but it comes from a place of growth and expansion and from sharing a life that is already complete, full and lovely. We want to share our experiences without making the other person responsible for our happiness and fulfillment.
2. Write a list of things you are grateful for.
In difficult moments, it can be hard to find anything to be grateful for. A list seems daunting. The absolute truth is that there is always, always something to be grateful for. Start with the basics if you must. Be grateful you woke up this morning. Not everybody has that privilege. Notice the ease of your breath flowing in and out of your body. For too many people that is a luxury that is out of reach. Be grateful for a warm bed. Then, after you have spent some time reflecting on the gratitude for the basic comforts in your life, see if you can grow the list to include experiences you have had this year. Can you include difficult lessons that you have learned? Can you be grateful for things that may have entered your life because you are not in a relationship? For example, after my relationship ended, I joined a sailing club and I got a new puppy. Both of those things likely would not have happened in the relationship, yet both of those things bring me tremendous joy. What about you? What brings you bliss ? Light a candle for yourself and start writing. Let the words of gratitude flow from you. Gratitude is a way to bring us into this moment. In a moment of gratitude our heart opens and makes room for joy to enter. Go ahead, pick up that pen!
3. Have a little fire ceremony.
A fire ceremony is a powerful tool to release and transition into something new. Write down all of the things you are willing to let go of to make room for something new. Are you willing to let go of the anger? Are you willing to let go of the resentment? Can you be ready to move on from betrayal? In what ways have you not treated yourself in loving ways? Maybe you are ready to forgive yourself and you ex-partner? Write down all the negative and painful stories you told yourself about your lovability and worthiness. Allow yourself to feel the sadness and pain should it come up. If we allow our feelings to flow through us, without attaching the painful stories, they lose their power over us and won’t cling to us and hold us in fear. Let it go! It no longer serves you and it was never the truth. The truth was and always will be that you are inherently lovable. You are a spark of the divine and as such, how can you be anything other than worthy and whole? After you are done writing all of it on a piece of paper, find a fireproof container and light a match to your paper. Watch the smoke rise into the heavens and say a prayer for all that was and for all that is yet to be. Smile! You have released what no longer serves you!
4. Get ready for all the love that is waiting for you.
Sit in silence for a few moments with the intent of connecting to you heart center. Spent a few moments listening to what your heart wants to tell you. Then write a very detailed list of all the attributes your new partner has. Don’t hold back. Let your desires and dreams fill the page. What is important to you in your new lover? What will your life look like? As best as you can, imagine a scene in your life with your new partner. What are you doing? What is the feeling connected to the beautiful day dream playing in your mind as you imagine this moment that is yet to be? Embrace that feeling. That is your future. Your new partner is already here. You don’t have to go seeking your new love. Any desire placed in your heart is there because the universe wants you to have it. You may not yet have met your partner, but that does not mean that they are not already here, getting their life ready to meet you. Do the internal work that you need to do to be ready for them. Any relationship has to start with a deep love of self. We can only love others to the extent we love ourselves. If we can’t fully love and accept ourselves, if we look to others to make us feel whole, it creates expectations and undue burden that your new partner should not have to carry. So start this Valentine’s day with the intention to learn to love yourself unconditionally, get very clear on what your life with your new partner will be like and watch the universe working hard on your behalf to bring it to fruition.
5. Last but not least, celebrate all the love inside of you that is yearning to express itself and give it freely to yourself.
Take a romantic bubble bath. Drop in some essential oils, light a candle and play some quiet music. Indulge your senses. Go wild and add some rose petals, why not? You deserve it! Treat yourself the way you would love to be treated by your romantic partner. Lovingly prepare yourself a delicious dinner. Set the table with your best china. Have a glass of wine or champagne and say a toast to yourself for a life well lived and a day spent with love, honor and dignity. While you are add it, why not have some chocolate dipped strawberries to end your day? They are equally delicious eaten alone and you won’t have to share!
It is my sincere hope that this Valentine’s day will mark the beginning of a new practice of loving self care and honoring yourself and all that you are. Love, dignity and grace. May it be yours.
If your measure of pain and sorrow is too great a burden to carry alone, please reach out for help. It is your divine birthright to live a life filled with joy and purpose. Claim it!