HELLO FEBRUARY: 3 Tips to Learn to Love It and You Again!
I dreaded February. Especially when I was single. I believed that there was no reason for a single person, like myself, to celebrate a month designated for romantic lovers.
I swear, I hated to see February 14th coming. I tried to all but disappear on this day and prayed that no one would notice that I, Terré Holmes, was single on Valentine's Day, yet again.
It took many years to redefine February for myself and to reclaim for all persons, whether single or not, that February isn't just a time for romantic love. It is also a time to express unwavering self-love.
Therefore, in celebration of lovers everywhere, I want to offer 3 tips to finding, keeping, and cherishing the kind of love that can't be bought with chocolates or pleasantries. It's the kind of love that when others see it, they can't deny it, because self-love can't be faked or even rehearsed. Either you have it, or you don't.
These tips aren't just for February though. They're for everyday that you're blessed to see sunlight. They're for those days when you're not ashamed to acknowledge that you of all people could use a little extra love and who better to give it to you, than you. So, here's to self-love.
1. Be Kinder to You
Many people expect others to be kind to them, but they fail to see when they've been unkind to themselves. They fail to see that they haven't given themselves the best or spoken well of themselves or just given themselves a break, even when they've deserved it, but yet they expect others to do so.
This month, start by paying attention to the words you use to speak to you. Use kinder words to describe how you look. Use kinder words when you make a mistake. Speak kind words when you look at yourself in the mirror and know that negative self-talk isn't just name calling. It's everything you say and think about yourself that doesn't come from a positive space.
Another way you can be kinder to yourself, is to not compare yourself to others. Understand that your journey isn't someone else's and vice versa and although you swam across the same waters as they did, at the same time, doesn't mean you had the same resources to do so. In other words, no two people have the same journey. So stop comparing yours to another. You made it across those oceans. Thank God.
2. Treat Yourself to Something Special.
Whether you're single or not, you deserve something special. So, on Valentine's day do something nice and send flowers to yourself at home or at work and don't pretend like they're for someone else when people ask. Let them know that you are practicing self-love and better self-care and this is a way expressing the love you have for yourself and feeling good and confident about yourself whether you're in relationship or not.
That one act alone, won't only empower you, but it's going to empower and encourage others around you to do the same for themselves. Love is contagious, even self-love.
3. Say Good-Bye
Just like old, worn out clothes that you can't fit or are no longer in style, there are people in your life that no longer fit where you're going in life. Remember, it's hard, but it's okay to say good-bye.
This month, do an early spring cleaning and get rid of people and belief systems you've outgrown. Some people in your life aren't around because of how much you love them. They're around because of how little you've loved yourself. When you decide to love you more, some people will simply have to go and you'll know who they are.
Don't be worried. You can in fact love someone and let them go. First thing is this, you must decide that you love you enough to release them. You may be wondering though, "how do I say good-bye to a family member or a close friend I've had for years"? The answer is quite simple. You don't have to completely say good-bye. Maybe you simply reduce how much access they have to you, but the key is to make a choice between them and your happiness. If you being happy is affected in any way as a result of their presence in your life, then the decision becomes easier.
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself.
- Does this persons presence bring me more joy than heartache?
- Does this person care enough about me that their sole desire is to see me happy?
- Does this person take more than they give in this relationship?
If you can honestly answer yes to at least two of these questions, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship and time that you not only have the love you deserve, but the relationships you deserve.
It's a new year, a new month and a new decade and what better time for a new you? Everything starts with a choice. This month, whether you have the best relationships a person could ever ask for, or not, make this your year to choose to practice greater self-love and self-care. After all, you deserve it. Not just this month, but every month and every day.