Happy Valentine's Day Beautiful Readers,
Writing this love letter has proven to be harder than I anticipated. I have so much that I want to say to you, but often it comes out as nothing at all. I am confident that I will find something to say here. Like a good play in the fourth quarter, the topic for this letter came at the last minute. I decided that I wanted to focus on self-love this year. I'm perpetually single, and I'm okay with that. I know that I've got to learn to love and respect myself before I expect anyone to do that for me. I don't want to lose myself in anyone else's dreams of who they want me to be.
Today, I wanted to share this same message with you all on this lovely Valentine's Day. This message goes out to everyone! Self-love is critical whether you are single, in a relationship, or married. It's so easy to lose sight of self-love in the process of living life.
Related Reading: A Love Letter To My Readers
Dream Bigger Dreams
In the process of trying to be everything to everyone, we often lose sight of what we want. I don't want you to do that, friends. I want you to live a bigger and better life than you ever imagined. This is not a rehearsal. If you aren't going after the dreams that make you scared, what are you doing? Dream bigger dreams. Dream the biggest dream that you can imagine, and then go after an even scarier dream than that. Life's too short to live your life wishing that you'd gone after what you wanted. Loving yourself means looking those scary dreams in the eye and doing it anyway.
Do it scared. Do it while your knees shake, and you are afraid you're going to pass out from fright. Listen to your body and depend on your circle of friends and family. I want to make sure that you aren't letting your own limiting beliefs stop you from doing what you want to do. Also, don't let other people's limiting beliefs impact you either. When someone says you can't do something, they mean they cannot do something.
No Is A Complete Sentence
Boundaries are everything.
It's so easy to get caught up explaining ourselves. You've got to trust your gut and your wishes more than you believe what someone else wants you to do. Who knows you better than you know yourself? No one, girl! When you say no, it's non-negotiable. You've got a handle on what you do and do not want, and anyone who claims to love you should know that. Set and protect your boundaries because no one can do that for you.
Boundaries protect us and our emotional well-being. Most people are out for themselves in some capacity, even if they don't have a bad bone in their body. We are all trying to get people to do what we want, because wouldn't that be a grand life? Practicing self-love means understanding what you want and enforcing your boundaries to protect that. My love letter request is that you know what you want and go after that feverishly.
Forgiveness Is For Everyone (Including You)
Forgiveness is a word often tossed around, but not accepted. We forgive people all the time, but the actions that lead to that forgiveness still haunt and hurt us. You can say the word, but not truly mean it. It's a shame that words don't always match our hearts and souls. This is something that we must work to amend. That goes for forgiving others and ourselves.
You cannot change the past. It's impossible to fix things others have done to us and vice versa. Our actions going forward are the only things that we have control over from how we treat others to how we react to our future treatment. Forgiveness is not only important to other people, but it's essential for you, dear readers. Bitterness and resentment will get you nowhere fast. Those emotions are hard to suffer with, and they usually lead to more trouble for you, not the person you resent.
Listen To Yourself
Self-love means a whole lotta introspection. You need to become one with yourself. Ask yourself, “What do I want from this situation? What would make me the happiest person?” Listen to your body and listen to your mind. Spend a ton of time getting to know you and what you want. We aren't here to fill everyone else's cup while leaving our cup dry. We are here to give as much as we can, without making our self suffer.
Speak with yourself daily, what do you need? Slow down and be ready to listen to the response from your soul. Be open and prepared to accept what your body has to say. Check in with yourself consistently: can you stay out a little while longer, or do you need to get out of there as soon as possible? What is the next best step for you? Again, who knows you better than you? Who is better equipped to decide what your soul is saying?
Respect Your Journey
Above all else, respect your journey. I know it's so easy to want to get to the end of the rainbow without the work. I probably wish daily that I could skip to the end of all this and see the end of the journey to make sure I am on the right road. Would life be near as fun if we already knew the final destination though? Less stressful, hell yeah, but more fun? Probably not. The journey is just as important as the destination. I know that's so easy to say when the journey isn't all that bad, but it's true. Our journey teaches us more about life than the destination ever could.
I'm not telling you that your journey isn't hard or that you should love every inch of it. I am not even telling you all that mumbo jumbo about you controlling your journey, although I believe we have a part in how we react to it. I am telling you, that your journey matters. It's your job to take a deep breath, love, trust, and make the right decisions along the way. Don't get so caught up in loathing your current situation that you can't see all the love and happiness on the horizon. Get out of your own way.
Remember, you've got this!