It was only when I learned how to love myself unconditionally that I became capable of loving another.
I grew up hearing that "it is only when you love yourself that someone else can love you". I'm calling a bluff on that - and for all my single ladies out there who are wondering where their dream partner is, please don't believe that you haven't met them yet because of how you love yourself.
Truth is - there are billions of people out there, and no matter how you feel about yourself, there are people who will love you. It might not last or maybe it won't satisfy you completely - but that doesn't mean they won't love you.
I found love before I loved myself. But what changed when I fell in love with me was the fundamental nature of my relationship with my partner, my relationships with family and friends, and my interactions with the world.
When I learned how to love myself completely (that is, without the fine print of if/but/except when), I learned HOW to love another human and how I want to BE LOVED.
To love yourself is to witness your ebb and flows without judgment. It is to notice your changing emotions, energy, body, and presence with a sense of appreciation, rather than a sense of judgment or opportunity for improvement. It is to say, I accept all that I am, as I am in this moment, and I need not be anything more to love myself more. To love yourself is to view all of you from the eyes of the parent - who wants nothing but happiness and health for you, and loves you as you are.
And when you see yourself with these eyes of humility and love, you will find yourself seeing others in the same light of acceptance and worthiness.You will become more patient where it is warranted, and more direct where needed; more honest with your emotions, and more compassionate for others challenges. As you are clear on what it is to love yourself for who you are, you will know what that love for you looks like in the eyes of others.
This Valentines Day, give yourself space to fall in love with yourself. Light a candle, draw a bath, or put on your best dress - and write yourself a love letter. Full acceptance of who you are and all that you experience in the world.
You deserve your endless love. <3
P.S. my greatest lesson in self love is that every day I must recommit to loving myself completely. This lesson alone has had the greatest impact on how I view and interact in my relationships.