As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of the girls I know start feeling flooded by thoughts and feelings of being loved by another… by some dreamy soulmate…by someone that’s indisputably “too good to be true!” But why do we let one day result in so much disappointment and negative self-talk about being unlovable? C’mon… do we really want to measure our worth based on a box of chocolates or flowers? If you really stop and think about it, it’s way over-rated. Right?!?!
Let’s dare to find ways to be “too good to be true” to the family and friends we love... and also to ourselves. Instead of defining our worth based on what we receive, let’s empower ourselves to start making it a day to appreciate our ability to give. Relationships thrive when giving feels like a two-way street. Stand by your tribe by giving words of appreciation and gratitude. Do it your way! Whether it’s by giving a card, homemade valentines, freshly baked treats, a playlist, or some other creative gesture, honoring those we love reminds us that we’re lovable, too.
Just give and feel your heart swell up with shame’s worst competitor… human connection! It may sound cliché, but it’s true. Waiting for someone to love you will never feel as powerful as exercising the love that’s already in your life. Go try it..
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” -Mother Teresa
Follow this 2-step guide to making Valentine’s Day YOUR day:
Step #1: Give to your tribe!
- Reach out and express to friends, family, and mentors ways that they’ve enriched your life by simply showing up for YOU.
Step #2: Give to YOU!
- Be a driver, not a passenger! Take control of deciding who and what you want to become. We’re all extraordinarily unique… learn to celebrate what makes you different.
- Build your tribe! Practice being so committed to loving the people that love you… that you run out of energy to hate the haters.
- Stop babysitting your fear that you’re not lovable! We all spend so much time keeping a close watch over negative assumptions that we actually increase our fear that we don’t measure up. This preoccupation with that fear is actually inviting it to stay. Try taking the focus off of fear and it may leave.
- You are not your broken heart! We all get disappointed. Deeply disappointed. But for some reason, we focus more on the time we’re broken-hearted than the times we’re wholehearted. Let go of people and memories that keep you stuck.
- Show up in your own life! Let go of watching others’ lives unfold and create your own.
Let’s declare February, and every month, the time to STOP participating in thoughts that keep us from believing in ourselves.
Blog post by Dr. Alison Conner. Psychologist in Fresno, CA and member of Girlology's Expert Panel