This week I received my first valentines card in five years.
Whilst I’m not advocating for the commerciality of love, having a day that prompts for our demonstration of love is actually rather nice.
Usually at this time of year I look with longing at the valentines cards and imagine myself choosing the perfect card for the person I love.
I imagine them too, choosing the perfect card for their expression of love for me. I don’t mind saying I’m an old romantic.
The last few years I’ve felt a bit of sadness at this time as my life looks rather different to what I had imagined it would at this point.
This year thankfully I didn’t feel that sadness.
As I stood in front of the array of valentines cards I was excited again to pick one and to have the opportunity to express my love.
I picked the perfect card and was enlivened by the opportunity to share how I felt.
What made it even more fun was knowing that the words I would write would be exactly the ones they needed to hear.
I knew this because the person I was buying for was me!
Now you might think it odd and that’s okay, I can’t say it was something I’d ever done before but now I have, I’m excited to do the same again every single year!
Cultivating self love is incredibly important, in loving ourselves it strengthens our capacity to love others. It allows us to come from a place of generosity rather than need and there is nothing more heartfelt than being able to give love to someone else without any expectations in return.
This isn’t just about romantic relationships however, as self love impacts all areas of our lives.
Love in Work
At work it shows up in the area of self esteem and influences your thoughts and attitudes about yourself. The greater the self love you have the more generous you are with your thoughts and judgements about yourself and others.
If you make mistakes you are less likely to be criticising yourself and you are also more likely to have a balanced view of your areas of competence without an over inflated ego or under valuation of your capabilities.
In fact, through cultivating self love the ego remains in check - a greater sense of self love means you have a higher sense of inner peace and therefore need less/no external validation which is often what the ego feeds on.
It also means you are more likely to focus on the work in hand than worry about what people think so your decision making is likely to be less constrained and therefore more powerful and impactful.
I’ve spent many years cultivating self love - it’s not something that happens overnight and not just something that magically happened with me buying myself a valentines card. It does require discipline and it takes form in may different ways. For me that’s meditation, exercise, philosophy, personal development and so much more.
I know many won’t even be consciously aware that there is a need to cultivate it - accepting the challenges that life throws at them without questioning if there is something deeper about themselves they need to learn.
Test the impact
Here’s a quick test to see how impactful self love is….
When you next face a challenge - ask yourself “how can I love myself more and how would that help me?”
You’ll be hard pushed to find an answer that doesn’t help move you forward.