Hearts and flowers everywhere! Well not so much this year due to lockdown, only online ordering is going on, and of course we don’t have the usual scrum to get a table in a restaurant on the ‘most romantic’ night of the year. I dare say the sales of roses delivered to your door will rise though, and the supermarkets will do well on ‘special suppers’ for two.
Whether we are a fan of Valentine’s Day in all its commercial glory or not we should take this opportunity to talk about self-love, what does it actually mean and why does it matter?
In most cases, we talk about it, try and practice self-care, but we often don’t really love and value ourselves. Self-love encompasses not only how you treat yourself but also your thoughts and feelings about yourself, it’s about treating yourself with kindness and respect, and prioritizing your wellbeing.
It’s about taking accountability, recognising your feelings, valuing your strengths, asking for help, accepting that none of us are perfect ….
We cannot always expect to rely only on external sources for love and a person who practices self-love will never need to depend on others to be happy, it’s an empowering feeling to be happy on the inside.
An important benefit of self-love is better mental health. Practising self- love means you are less likely to suffer from anxiety or depression, it can reduce stress and encourage us to follow good habits rather than ones that are not serving us mentally or physically.
You know about the late great Louise Hay right? The founder of Hay House publishing who really nailed self-love, to the point that she carried a tiny mirror in her bra so she could whip it out and say..’I love you’ (your name) Ouch! Most of us would find that hard, an inner critic might immediately respond..’No! not true you look terrible, you’re hopeless’ You’re not good enough!’
Last year we did a self love challenge in The Sober Club, and I asked Jo De Rosa (who has also contributed a section in Happy Healthy Sober, to write this for us..
Our natural state is one of love, for the heart doesn’t actually know how not to love. However, in western society we are taught to self-harm through substances, unhealthy relationships, and jobs that do not light us up.
When there is self-love
There cannot be self-harm
‘When there is one, there cannot be the other and each moment is an opportunity for either. So, we are choosing every second the outcome that we believe is of most benefit in that moment. This is one of the biggest revolutions the western world is undergoing right now, in my opinion, as we begin to fundamentally change the way we view ourselves. For we have been taught up until this moment in time that ‘loving yourself’ means that you are over-confident, cocky and arrogant. We have been trained to NOT love ourselves and to put everyone else BEFORE ourselves, otherwise we are selfish, apart from when we get on a plane and are told to put the oxygen mask on ourselves FIRST before even the very young.
We have even coined a new term for this; rather than ‘loving yourself’, in the new age, we ‘self-love’.
See what we did? We changed the two words around! Because the connotation of ‘loving yourself’ holds so much negative conditioning, whereas ‘self-love’ means something totally different. We are in a new age for sure, one where we are ALLOWED and encouraged to look after ourselves, where we KNOW that we cannot give from an empty pot, and we have so much MORE to offer when we are fulfilled first ourselves’ Jo De Rosa .
Happy Healthy Sober – Ditch the booze and take control of your life is out now.
If you haven’t heard me wax lyrical about it, it’s my story, a whole host of tips to make ditching the booze easier for you, so great if you’re early days (or if you want to make other behaviour changes) but also a huge lifestyle section, where we cover so many health and wellbeing topics from nutrition through fitness, relationships, creativity, purpose, meditation, therapeutic techniques et al. There are contributions from some amazing experts too.
Of course selfcare and selflove is at the heart of sobriety, most people when they are drinking too much, don’t have a strong self esteem, they often find it difficult to sit with their feelings, we have had years of just ‘numbing out’ with alcohol rather than , as one of my contributors Karla McKlaren says …embracing all of our emotions.
There is lots in this book about self love, its the key, and of course I’d say if you haven’t already, Question your relationship with alcohol!
The opposite of addiction is connection
You can check out The Sober Club for support, accountability and connection
Here’s the link to buy on Amazon – you can order a copy signed personally to you, or a friend (we’ve added on a bit for P&P) Order your signed copy here.