Are you someone who loves Valentine’s Day or do you think it’s just another commercialized candy and flowers holiday? Well, no matter which camp you fall into, I still want to send you a love note today…but it might not be what you expect.
This Valentine’s Day, and every day for that matter, I want you to focus on loving yourself.
I say this because unfortunately, in my almost 36 years on this planet, I've experienced more stereotypes and societal beliefs about love and happiness (both in our professional and personal lives) that are rooted in obtaining happiness, love, and success from outside sources, and I think that's a shame.
It’s a shame because I believe; actually, I know from the personal experience I’m about to share, that abandoning those stereotypes and instead focusing inward on loving yourself can lead the way to profound impact in every facet of our own lives as well as others.
When I was 30, I ended my marriage and left a 9-year relationship with a wonderful man. As I got used to being back on my own, one of the greatest adjustments I had to get used to was the way that others treated me and looked at me. I was shocked that in today’s world, where the divorce rate falls somewhere between 40 and 50 percent, people would look at me with sympathy for being single and for not having children at the ripe old age of 30.
What they seemed to be missing was that I left my husband for myself, because I loved myself.
I knew that even though the man I was leaving was a kind soul with a compassionate heart, I had to put myself first. If my cup wasn’t full, I could never be 100 percent in the relationship, and that wouldn’t be fair to him either. So, I made the hard decision to leave and seek more balance in my life. I had big dreams, and I needed to go after them for myself.
It was one of the scariest, yet most exciting times of my life. I read books, I danced tango, I met interesting people, and I learned more about myself every day. I learned what made me feel happy, balanced, and full.
Eventually in that process, I met, fell in love with, and married my soulmate. Someone who also had made choices in his life to love himself and was happy, balanced, and full as a result.
Now, nearly five years into that relationship and with a baby on the way, I can honestly say that I have never been happier. And it’s all because I made a conscious choice to love myself that I found my partner in life.
I had the confidence to move to a new place and start my own business, and I had the confidence to share this story and this message with you.
Give yourself permission to put yourself first and do what you need to do in your personal or professional life to make yourself happy, balanced, and full because no one else can do that for you and you’ll never know the possibilities that await you, and you’re capable of until you embrace loving yourself.
So, If you’re someone who gives and gives and gives to your loved ones, your clients, and everyone around you except for yourself, I want you to break out of that mold tomorrow.
Also, don’t be ashamed if this is you. It’s very common for women, especially in our field to be caregivers and put ourselves last. That’s why I want to urge you to take baby steps in loving yourself. Start with something small like giving yourself permission to take a nap in the middle of the day, or even book a spa treatment for yourself (seriously, when was the last time you received a treatment you didn’t perform on yourself?).
My guess is that even with these small steps, you’ll start to feel stronger, more secure in who you are, and those lovely feelings of balance and happiness will start flooding in.
When that happens, I believe that you’ll be a better friend, wife, mother, and aesthetician.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you, beautiful.