unconditionalloveOf course, I mean Happy Valentines Day to you, too, but this year, I’m trying to focus on someone I’ve sorely neglected for a long time.  And that would be me.

I’m really lucky– I have a wonderful sweetie-husband who knows how to be romantic.  We’re going to go out and have a night away in the near future as a way to celebrate, since I’m not fond of the Valentines crowds on the day.  I have great kids, and I’m continuing my tradition of giving them chocolates and love notes for V-day.

But what I’m thinking more about lately is learning how to love myself.  I know that sounds all touchy-feely, but honestly, due to many factors in my past, I did not grow up with much in the way of self-esteem.  I was sure there was something- or many things- wrong with me, and if I just tried hard enough I coule fix them and be maybe kinda all right.  The problem was, I could never get there, and I just kept up this cycle of being very judgmental towards myself, feeling bad, feeling shame about the way I was, and pushing myself harder.

If you haven’t guessed it, this cycle totally sucks and leads to nothing good.  Even if I did accomplish a goal, I would just shrug it off and go onto the next one, because yeah, I did it but it’s not enough.  And after a few hundred thousand go-rounds, I’m tired.  My eyes are opened to see how bogus all this is.  I can see how important it is to step away from this cycle, to really start being on my own side, to love the person I see in the mirror, and to be able to  celebrate all of me–  the strengths, weaknesses, quirks and gifts.

So if you don’t have a sweetie, or even if you do, I hope you’ll join me in taking back Valentines Day to a more fundamental level.  It doesn’t have to just be a day for couples, a day that singles find depressing.  How about taking some time to nurture yourself, to do a little pampering, savor some chocolate, and say a big I Love You to the most important person… You.