Valentines Day, either you anticipate this holiday and the love it brings, or you really dread it and all of the disgusting lovey-dovey people can go to hell (kidding!). I used to be the latter, bitter and miserable. I hated Valentine’s Day and all it stood for, not because I hate love (who hates love??) but because I so desperately wanted it and I used to believe that in order to have it, someone else, a romantic partner, had to give it to me. But, SURPRISE! I was wrong.
I used to believe love was something you possess, something that was tangible and the measure of love meant how much you physically give or sacrifice. But that was not love. Love is supposed to bring you joy. I was always sacrificing myself, my time, and my comfort, to make everyone outside of me, happy.
Every decision I made had become regularly reliant on “will this make so & so happy, will they feel at ease?”, never had I ensured my own happiness or comfort. Was I happy making those sacrifices? No. I’ve always lived my life and made my decisions based on the advice or feelings of others. I had allowed the governance of myself, my body, my comfort, to be emotionally and physically inclusive of everyone other than me.
I have apologized and stifled my voice to make comfort for others while I was uncomfortable in doing so. I’ve lived my entire life in fear of being judged, unloved, or wrong in my own opinions. I have allowed myself to be a puppet, easy to manipulate and easy to agree. I have said yes to things and situations that I knew I didn’t want to be in. I have stayed in relationships that no longer brought me happiness or safety. That was never love and definitely not love for myself. My regular selflessness, never seemed like a major sacrifice, but it was. My selflessness meant that I had to sacrifice, ironically, my sense self.
“Am I happy with who I am?”
I had always answered this question with an instinctive, yes. But the truth was, I wasn’t. How could I be happy with me, when I had no clue who this “me” was! Two years ago, I unconsciously decided to fall in love with myself. This journey of self love was more than taking myself on dates, treating myself to things I want, warm baths and candles. It meant standing up for me, showing up for me, pulling myself out of depressive episodes, and not betraying my head and heart by saying yes when no was the answer on my lips. This radical journey to self love meant no longer making excuses or apologizing for living my life how I need to live it, or bending at the selfish needs of other people. It meant living my life shamelessly and on purpose. It meant growing and improving myself daily and leaving bad habits and self-sabotage in my rear view mirror. It meant loving my body and soul, and thoroughly enjoying the company of me.
Loving yourself doesn’t just happen overnight and it definitely doesn’t happen immediately after you decide to do so, it is a process that’s never ending. Everyday, I learn more about myself and fall deeper in love with me. The act of loving yourself IS revolutionary. This valentine’s day join the revolution and embark on your journey to self love. This Valentine’s Day, become the rebel that you know you should be. <3
image taken from SALT by Nayyirah Waheed