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A Valentine for You

It’s February, and you know what that means…Punxsutawney Phil! Unfortunately, the little critter saw his shadow, so we’ll be getting a longer winter…but then again, Sand Mountain Sam, the weather-predicting possum (who knew?!), called forth an early spring.

Oh, not what you were expecting? 

Oh yeah…February is all about LOVE, that pesky Valentine’s Day holiday. As a person who’s been married for almost 30 years, it’s easy for me to shrug my shoulders about it all and be happy if he remembers with flowers, chocolates, or simply a kiss. It’s also easy because I am lucky enough to have a hubby who shows me love every day of the year, not only on one assigned day.

If you don’t have that and it’s something you pine for, the Hallmark hallmark can be a triggering reminder. But I’m here to tell you, you always have someone just waiting to love you…someone who wants nothing more than to be accepted and loved unconditionally in return. And that’s YOU. 

I can feel you rolling your eyes at me, and I get it. It’s not the same. And the whole ‘self-love’ thing is like a broken record that at first sounded great, but after a while, its crackling repeat gets downright annoying.

After all, it’s nothing we don’t know. It’s just that much of the time, it’s easier said than done. And that’s not your fault. Remember, we are conditioned to think negatively, so we constantly try to sabotage that gooey self-love feeling because it’s too damn happy. It feels like hope, and that’s a dangerous thing. If we have hope and that hope is dashed—we start to believe the lies that we are NOT lovable—well, that feels worse than never believing it at all.

My Valentine to you is to suggest some concrete tips you can try that just might make that elusive self-love a little easier. Because, after all, you’ve gotta know how to love yourself if you successfully want to love another. I know, another tired old record, but…it’s true.

Say Thank you and Goodbye to Gollum

Remember how I mentioned that I’m kind of a Lord of the Rings fan? And how I often think of our constant tirade of negative thoughts and phrases we repeat to ourselves as using our Gollum voice? If you have no clue what I’m talking about, Gollum is a pathetic Tolkien character that once was known as Smeagol. After literally hundreds of years of mind-poisoning by the retched evil Ring, he spends what time he has left constantly arguing with himself any time a glimmer of hope threatens him with its light. (and choking on words he deep down knows to be false, hence the name people have given him, “Gollum.”)

When I catch myself saying something nasty to my very best friend (that would be me), I literally hear it in that sniveling voice. I call on my logical brain to tell me that these thoughts are only lies, lies that are only trying to protect me but are simply not true.

When I catch myself saying something nasty to my very best friend (that would be me), I literally hear it in that sniveling voice. I call on my logical brain to tell me that these thoughts are only lies, lies that are only trying to protect me but are simply not true.

Noticing, breaking down, and rephrasing these thoughts—calling out your Gollum—can be tough. After all, you’ve been doing this automatically for a long, long time. You don’t even have to believe it at first. But the more you consciously notice and rewire those thoughts, the more you will believe them.


Challenge Yourself

Nothing makes you feel better about yourself than when you’ve accomplished something that felt hard to do. That feeling of overcoming your
fears is powerful and makes you feel like you can do anything! 

I am currently writing this blog from sunny Hollywood, CA. This is a big deal
for this Minneapolis gal who is used to freezing her butt off in the long, cold winters. My hubby and I have wanted to ‘snowbird’ for years, and we finally figured out a way to return to our old stomping grounds for a month to do just that. 

Boo hoo, right? Well, It may surprise you to know that I am a bit of an anxious person, especially when it involves traveling. I LOVE seeing and experiencing new places, but sometimes I will randomly sit up at night and start to panic that I’m not HOME. I’m a creature-comforts person (very much like a Hobbit, one might say), and being away from that familiarity can feel a bit scary.

But every day I push through that– every day I soak in the sun, every moment I connect with old and new friends, every cool outdoor café I sit in, or ocean wave I get to see or hear—I feel so good. Not only because of the joy these things bring but because I am strong and capable and showing my inner Gollum that I don’t have to be afraid of everything! There is so much out in the world to experience and do!

And that’s what life is, right? An endless array of experiences. Sure, some aren’t so great, but I’m gonna love on myself by making my life as best and as vast as it can be. And when I undoubtedly face and get through something hard, that feels amazing.

And let me tell you something else—feeling amazing makes you attractive to others as well! I once traveled to the island of St. Thomas all by myself to house-sit for friends. I had never been there before, and I spent my time finding new beaches and even driving around—on the other side of the road! It was terrifying and exhilarating. One day I sat on the beach pondering whether I should be wearing a bikini, and a very Sawyer-from-LOST-looking guy (Google him …whew!) came up to chat with me, eventually asking me out to dinner. Now this was after I mentioned my husband and daughter, so he was a bit of a cad, and I had no interest in a scandalous affair—but I truly believed that the confidence I had from owning that island made me very attractive.


Date Yourself

You know how when you first meet someone, you try to learn everything about them? You can’t get enough information about who they are and what makes them tick. You want to know so that you can do and say things that align with them and then try your darndest to make them happy. You gussy yourself up to make a good impression, you woo them.

I know, I know. You’ve been with yourselves a long time, and the honeymoon is over. But does it have to be? It’s a relationship that isn’t going away, so why not make it the best it can be? Why not do all you can to learn everything about yourself to be in alignment with who you truly are?

This is when the magic happens. When you take the time to really get to know yourself—doing the work to break down the wall we put up for everyone else and start being your authentic self and doing what makes your soul sing—that’s when you make way for all the good things you want. You set yourself on the right path to get exactly where you want to go. 

Don’t you love that feeling when you can help to provide a clear path for your loved one, a friend, or a child? There is nothing more frustrating than to see them stumbling through a dark and brambly trail, feeling lost and unsure. Make sure you are clearing that path for yourself.

And treat yourself, for goodness’ sake! Buy yourself a box of chocolates, take yourself to a movie, pick up that bright pink lipstick that you’ve been eyeing for a month but never think you’ll have an occasion for. Make the occasion! Or better yet, wear it for no occasion at all other than the celebrate who you are– who you can be when you let go of any self-prescribed limitations and expectations.

And, the Tarot.

The first tarot card that popped into my head when I thought of self-care and love was the Six of Swords.

The Swords represent our logical thoughts and how we communicate, and they very often symbolize taking action of some kind. Of course, a sword is a weapon, so cards with them can also foretell challenges or conflicts.

Although the figures in this card seem to resign themselves to their journey, they choose to leave They know it’s not necessarily going to be easy, but I like to picture that, as they get closer to their desired destination, they have the courage to drop another sword into the water. They don’t need those thoughts weighing them down any longer. The weapons served them well and protected them for a time, but they were no longer needed where they were going. And getting rid of them, one by one, makes their ride smoother and faster. And when they pull up to shore, there is no heavy baggage to carry around!

Like us, it’s hard to quiet the negative thoughts that we feel are making us safer! It’s a lot of work to get to where we want to go. Sometimes it’s hard to see that it’s what we need to do to improve our situation. But we know that’s what we need to do to get there. Otherwise, we will never get to smooth sailing and that glorious feeling of arrival. 

I hope this card and these tips can help inspire you to drop some of those heavy weapons that are unnecessary so that your load feels lighter. So that you can feel confident and in love with who you are and where you are headed! Whether that’s with someone else or by yourself, you’ll get there. And by then, you’ll have everything you need to bring in the love you desire, the love to complement what you already have for yourself.

Write About It!

OK friends—grab a journal and start writing! Jot it down when you say something Gollum-like to yourself—out loud or in your head. Now write underneath why it isn’t true. List as many reasons as you can.

When you come across something you feel like you can’t do, but deep down inside, you know you really want to, start coming up with ideas to help you through it. Make that call, take that class, speak up for yourself. Write down things you would do if you could only find the courage and how you may start finding it.

Make a list of things you can do or acquire to treat yourself! They don’t have to be expensive or even cost a dime. Then again, if you have the means but have never allowed yourself to splurge, go for it. You’re worth it!

Make dates to the museum you’ve always wanted to visit, window shop in that fun shopping area, or go for a long drive with just your favorite music and a naughty coffee. Anything that feels like a break from the norm gets your creative juices flowing and makes life fun and interesting. Rediscover what you’re interested in nowadays! You may surprise yourself!

You may even want to buy one of these beautiful journals and dedicate it as your Self-Love Diary. Write, color, and draw in it. Doesn’t that sound fun?