Yesterday was St. Valentine’s Day! It generally hails as a day of projected emotions and feelings between two people in a romantic relationship. The origin and purpose of the day is disputed but in the current day, it has come to be a grand display of affection and love.
As fun as a day like this seems or actually comes to be, there’s a good chance that if you’re single, this holiday is for the birds. I remember that feeling all too well. But today, I’m going to break the mold a bit and talk about love in a different context. Let’s talk about loving ourselves.
Self love or self care as I hear it called is a topic that I find isn’t talked about or expounded upon much. Maybe I’m in the wrong pool of people, but self care just hasn’t made it’s appearance very often. As a believer in Christ and His Word, self care, for me, gets lost somewhere in between loving others well and being selfless. It’s not that taking care of myself seems taboo or anything, but it just gets elbowed out of the way.
Growing up, there was a message preached at my church that helped shape the way I perceived loving others. It said that the key to finding JOY was in the way you prioritized your love. So Jesus, Others, Yourself = JOY. Jesus first, then others, and then yourself. I’m sure this idea was based on Matthew 20:16 that says:
“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
But then, I came across a verse not long after that:
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39.
So, which is it? At first glance, it seems like a straight up contradiction. One thing says to love others before ourselves and the next says to love them just like we love ourselves. Actually, if you look closely, they endorse two different ideas that work perfectly hand in hand. Just before teaching that loving your neighbor is the second greatest command, Jesus commands that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart. So JOY isn’t too far off with placing Jesus first. But in truth, those who place others before themselves will find fulfillment of sorts, but how are we to know how to love each other without knowing what it feels like to be loved?
So before we go all kung-pow on loving others, we must step back and show ourselves some love. It is a command.
In light of this truth, I embarked on journey of self-love yesterday. I am a huge fan of beauty and prettiness. Specifically, playing with makeup, finding pretty dresses, and sometimes being all whimsy and crafting with florals and ribbons. But something I have not been diligent with is skin care. Much like being told to eat healthy and exercise, skin care is endorsed with passion in our health culture, but is actually practiced by a minority. Yes, I eat fairly healthy, get my exercise, take my multivitamin dummies, and indulge in some yoga or breathing techniques here and there, but my outside body, my skin has not been well cared for beyond washing and sunscreen when I’m at the beach. I felt like my skin needed something a little more. Like some moisture, a few vitamins, and a bit more attention over all. So I went and purchased a few skincare items yesterday and set out to give them a try. So far the results are monumental.
I’ve compiled a list of suggestions for those of you who want to do something different on or post Valentine’s Day or just want to change things up a bit when it comes to caring for yourself. Here’s a list of things that may spark your creativity when it comes to loving yourself. Enjoy and comment below with your suggestions or things you’ve tried! The key here is if you hear that someone else does it and you go, “Ahhhh, that sounds so nice!!”, chances are, you’d have a good time doing it for yourself. 🙂
- Soak in the tub.
- Cook yourself your favorite meal like it was for your spouse/significant other.
- Read your favorite book or watch your favorite movie.
- Get a mani or a pedi.
- Take a nap. (Let’s face it, this is the only one that most of us want. LOL)
- Go to the pet store and pet all the puppies or kittens.
- Paint your nails.
- Invite some friends over just for the heck of it.
- Or go out with some friends just for the heck of it.
- Go to the beach just to take a nap on the sand.
- You know that small or medium priced thing you’ve had the money for a long time ago but you just can’t bring yourself to buy it? Buy it.
- Drink an extra cup of tea or coffee.
- Go for a scenic drive/take the scenic route.
- Go sit outside just to be outside. Observe what’s around you and pay attention to the little things.
- Get crafty and make something!
- Don’t be afraid to tell yo kids to do the dishes. They ain’t gonna hate you forever. 🙂
- Sing as loud as you can to your favorite song. Scream if you have to. Let it out, sister.
- Cry. This is a big one. Cry if you need to. Girl, don’t let this stuff get pent up inside! Let it go!
- Do that thing you’ve been meaning to do. It’s ok. Just do it. You’ll feel so much better afterwards.
Don’t be afraid to just jump in! Sometimes fear holds us back. If there is no fear in Jesus’ love, there shouldn’t be any fear in loving ourselves and others. Happing loving!