Today is the day of all days when we are reminded of all of the beautiful love in our lives. As much as the meaning of Valentine’s day can get hidden under ribbons, heart-shaped candy and flowers, I still think it is such a great exercise to tell those people who deserve it how much they truly mean to you. Tonight I have the absolute privilege of continuing the best Valentine’s Day tradition ever, which is going out for a nice dinner with the female loves of my life, but there is something equally important that deserved a bit of attention as well.
Today I am taking some time to reflect and give some attention to the type of love that gets so frequently overlooked; the love of oneself.
I distinctly remember one day in college when I was recapping my Friday night with of my best friends, Anna. I can’t remember exactly what I had done, but when I asked Anna how she spent her night, her face lit up as she told me about this great black-and-white movie that she watched in her pajamas.
“Wait, what? You watched a movie by yourself?!” I said. The concept was apparently foreign to me.
“Yeah”, said Anna. ”I like to do romantic things for myself every once in a while.”
Ever since Anna taught me the importance of self affection, I have been doing nice things for myself with no reason needed – just because. It is a practice that I now call “romancing yourself”.
I will admit, being completely unplugged and alone sometimes can be so scary. Fears and insecurities can get really loud. Anxiety about work, love, relationships, school and deadlines can be overpowering. We distract ourselves all day long so that we don’t have to face these uncomfortable thoughts, but the reality is, being alone doesn’t have to be so scary.
Today I silenced my phone, turned off my computer and decided to go on a nice long walk outside through my neighborhood. As I walked, I admired all of the unique architecture. I noticed the feel of the warm sun on my skin. I appreciated how easy it is for me to put one foot in front of the other… something that I take for granted too often. I stopped at my favorite bakery and picked out the most beautiful muffin in the display case, took it home, and enjoyed it with a glass of soy milk while reading my new Bon Appetit Magazine.
So take some time today to be alone and admire everything that is so perfectly, uniquely you. Pay attention to thoughts that come in your mind and acknowledge them because they are there for a reason, but let them pass like paper boats floating down a river. Close your eyes and discover areas in your body that are stiff or tired. Imagine all of the things that you are looking forward to about the weekend. Make a list of everything you are appreciative of about your life – your brain, your body’s ability, your intellect, your talents.
Give some serious love today to Number One.
You’re freaking worth it.