For such a little month, February can sure pack a big punch. It’s right at the tail end of Winter when we Southerners start expecting a little heat in our afternoons. Unfortunately, this year, we haven’t gotten much. This is usually when cabin fever starts setting in and I start feeling the itch for longer days of sunshine and Spring breezes and wisteria. But, instead, I sit inside on a chilly dark evening breathing stale recycled air. Bummer.
However, nestled in the middle of this tiny tempest of a month, is that sparkly beacon of hope we know as St. Valentine’s Day. Being the sly instigator it is, I am taking inspiration for my February Resolution from this very holiday. In the spirit of all the love hubbub surrounding the holiday, I am resolving to love myself this month.
I know, I know … ‘Isn’t that a wee bit cliché?’ you might be asking yourself. Well, yes and no. I think many have bandied the phrase around, but I would wager that few actually spend time thinking about what it really means.
I have been sitting with this notion for a couple weeks now. And I have come to believe the following to be true for me – at this time in my life – in regards to loving myself:
1. I am perfect in all my flawed glory. It is noble and worthwhile for me to work towards bettering myself, but it is not loving to beat myself up for falling short of the mark. I resolve to remind myself that my failures are what allow me to grow and learn and become better. And I resolve to congratulate myself just as heartily and noisily when I learn from a mistake as I do when I have a success.
2. I deserve to take good care of myself. I struggle with this notion regularly, and, admittedly, have made this resolution many times before. But, here it is again! (Please refer back to #1 to be reminded that it’s okay to try and try again.) I resolve to clean up my diet, increase my daily water intake, get more physical exercise and much more sleep. Yes – this is good stuff. Yes – this seems obvious. Yes – I’m doing this!
3. Alone time doesn’t mean I’m lonely. Alone time, for me, is necessary. In fact, I need a regular schedule of time with me to be able to be fully present with other people. This is something I know about myself. This is largely due to the fact that I genuinely like myself. How awesome is that? I resolve to carve out quality time with myself on a regular basis.
4. I deserve to be treated with consideration and respect by the people with whom I associate. This seems like another ‘duh’ statement, but I have a tendency to try to appease others at my own expense. I’m deciding not to do that anymore. Loving myself means respecting myself. Respecting myself means cordially demanding respect from others. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!
5. It’s prudent to practice saying Yes to things I want and No to things I don’t. Why is it so difficult to allow myself to do/have/be the things that will bring me joy? And why do I feel so obligated to always agree to those that don’t? Loving myself means being responsible for my own happiness above everyone else’s. Only if I am happy and fulfilled can I truly help someone else to be.
So, that’s it. It’s simple. It’s honest. It’s common sense. And, therefore, it will probably be quite a challenge. But, I figure, I’m worth it.
I invite you to join me in this month’s resolution. Find ways to really show yourself how much you love you. And, if you are so inclined, leave a post to let me know how it goes! Happy month of LOVE!