But First, Love Yourself

So it’s Valentine’s Day! Your feed is probably flooded with people declaring how much love they have in their lives, posting pictures of chocolates, flowers, and people declaring how much they hate today or being alone. As kids, most people probably loved Valentine’s Day. We got tons of chocolate and cute little notes from our friends. But maybe that is where our problem started. I remember times in elementary school when someone would get upset that they had not received a valentine from someone who they thought was their friend. Already as young children we began to wield the power to change someone’s entire attitude towards themselves by simply “forgetting” to give them some chocolate or a heart shaped piece of cardstock.

As we got older Valentine’s Day turned into a competition. Who would get more gifts from their so-called boyfriend or girlfriend? Who got gifts from people they were not even dating? Why is it that we have allowed ourselves to base so much of our worth on items so we could brag about it? And this is not just something that happens on Valentine’s Day either. Christmas and other holidays, birthdays, vacations and more give many people an excuse to act like their life is glowing perfection.

Well, I want to remind you on this day that you should not worry about such trivial things. I don’t hate Valentine’s Day, but I don’t think it should be fussed over either. For one, I think we should show each other love every day. In small actions we can love our families and friends. If you choose to do a little bit more than usual that is fine too, but it is not a necessity. It should not determine whether or not someone feels loved. This leads to my second point. We should love ourselves no matter what. I heard a quote once and it really resonated with me. “But first, love yourself”.

There are countless books and articles telling you why you need to love yourself and put yourself first. The reason this is important to me is because for so long many of us have been taught to place our sense of feeling loved, our worth, into the hands of others and things. And that is not ok, that is something that can easily fail. If all my friends decide to ignore me or I move to a new place where I don’t know anyone, then what would I do? Instead, I want to place my heart in my own hands. I want to remember that I matter not because someone told me I was, but because I truly believe it. Plus, how can I ever expect others to appreciate me when I cannot even appreciate myself?

So on this day I want to remind you that you are loved no matter what. Whether you are surrounded by a network of family and friends or alone in a new city or country, you are loved. Whether you are in a relationship or not, you are loved. Whether you feel as though your life has really been coming together or it is falling apart, you are loved.

There is no one and nothing that can take that away from you. You worth does not depend on your relationship status or how many likes you can get. You determine your worth. That is it. You build your happiness, piece by piece, and only you can decide whether is founded on something solid, like a strong sense of self, or something other people have been telling you is important. Don’t give anyone or anything that kind of power. Happy Valentine’s Day; or not, whichever you choose just remember that you are loved.

Tatyana x

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