Love Your Damn Self!

How many times have we heard,”To be loved, you must first learn to love yourself!”?

It’s one of the most commonly said things when it comes to relationship and dating advice, and when we broach the topic of the “L word”. It’s one of those things that, at least for me, has become kind of like listening to nails on a chalkboard.

Like, yes, we get it. If we don’t love us, how will other people love us? Work on yourself, mold yourself into the person you want to be like this big, lumpy slab of clay, right? Got it, thanks.

I agree with that advice. I really, really do. I think it would be illogical not to, but that’s not what this post is about.

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Valentine’s Day… dun, dun dun!!!!!

Either the most loved or most feared holiday, based off the current status of a person’s love life.

I used to be a huge v-day hater. I had a scientific-based, well-researched, logical reason for my hatred: I unfailingly had a bad day on February 14th. Yes, that is the conclusion of my extensive studies.

In sixth grade, I was in the hospital and officially diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease on Valentine’s. In seventh and eight, I watched my crushes showering all the v-day love onto other girls, which obviously meant I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, or cool enough. In ninth, my boyfriend dumped me for my friend the day before. The list goes on and on.

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Backing up before all that, though, there was the first Valentine’s Day that was no longer about getting cards and candy from classmates and showerings of love from the fam. In fifth grade, three of my friends got boyfriends right before Valentine’s Day. On 2/14/05, they were given chocolate boxes and teddy bears and kisses on the cheek (which was totally scandalous back then!!!).

That was when society **and my inner little voice of negativity and doubt** told me, “Courtney, they are more beautiful and more loved than you are because they have boys telling them they are beautiful and loved.”

I carried this subconscious idea in my mind like a poison for years.

So many of us do, and it’s hard not to when we live in a society that’s so wrapped up in other people’s opinions and devoutly worships the oh-so-important affirmation from others.

I’m currently reading the book You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I’m obsessed with it and the way Jen so candidly and hilariously talks about all this really important stuff that can literally change your life. One of the things she talks about is that our energy attracts like energy. If you think of it scientifically, it’s like…duh?

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So, my energy around Valentine’s Day, ever since the fifth grade debacle, was completely and totally negative. That’s why bad things consistently happened to me on the dreaded V-day. It wasn’t St. Valentine’s fault or even the fault of the sickeningly sweet Hallmark peeps, but instead it was entirely my own doing. I realized this my Freshman year in college–like a lightbulb popping up over a cartoon character’s head kinda thing.

As soon as I changed my energy, I changed what the universe brought me.

The curse of the chocolates and teddy bears had been broken, and I saw Valentine’s Day for what it truly is: a day to celebrate love.

The love we always think of is romantic love, of course, but there’s so much more to love than the hot and steamy stuff. There’s fam love, friend love, love for you adorable fluffy pet friend. There’s love for religion and for nature, love for the Earth or for sports. There’s love for the arts and for traveling and for food.

Valentine’s Day is about that.

It’s about celebrating what you love and being able to scream it from the rooftops without being called crazy on this one day of the year when it’s socially acceptable to act like a mushy little pile of love for twenty four whole hours.

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Then, the weirdest thing happened. The year after I decided to stop being such a stick-in-the-mud about good ole’ v-day, I had the best one ever. My then-boyfriend planned a romantic trip for us to a hotel on the beach, complete with roses, chocolates, and champagne. We had a perfect, RomCom style Valentine’s Day.

That year was about romantic love, but the years since have been about the rest of the loves, and, most importantly, the love I have for myself.

When we say that these days we get called cocky or selfish, but, hello, love your damn self!!! It’s your right and it’s really, really important. You should do this every single day, but use cupid’s day as a reminder to shower yourself with all the love and self appreciation you deserve.

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Why not get really into it this year?! Buy yourself a dozen roses, a box of chocolates, and a giant fluffy teddy bear. Make yourself your favorite breakfast and eat it while cozy in bed. Take a bath with candles and rose petals and way too many bubbles, with a glass of champagne in one hand and a good book in the other. Write yourself a love letter. Dance around your house to your favorite song. Get all dolled up and take yourself out! Have “double dates” with your other single friends who are taking themselves out.

Sometimes we all just need a little reminder that we are really effing awesome.

So, happy day of joy and hearts and chocolates and love.

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Sending you all of my love today and always, my little chickadees!

Now get out there and be awesome.

 

 

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