We do not treasure our souls and bodies as we should. Our minds are a replaying year of middle school, where we belittle and neglect ourselves. You should have woken up earlier! Why did you eat that? You are an idiot for failing! Why did you waste money on a dinner out? You need to be a better friend – lover – sister! Enough is enough.
We are our own worst enemy. The only person getting in the way of the life, job, body, or existence we want is ourselves. We have tricked our minds into believing that we don’t deserve happiness, pleasure or success. These negative thoughts wickedly carry us into deep, dark places where we find ourselves helpless and lost in a rut.
Do not give anyone - especially yourself - the opportunity to tear apart your confidence and self-worth.
This past summer in Croatia we were all given a “Nice Things List” where fellow co-workers wrote kind and positive things about us. It is one of the most touching and thoughtful things I have ever received. We should tell friends, family, and ourselves these affirmations every day. We tend to forget how nice it is to hear words of encouragement and admiration - it restores the soul.
Don’t bother loving someone else until you love yourself.
Alas another Valentine’s Day has reared its Hallmark head. This year there is no special man in my life that has my heart. However, I do believe that any absence can serve as a perfect opportunity for something else to flourish – and in this case, it is love for myself.
In my past, I have locked up my heart, buried my emotions, ridiculed my body, and neglected my dreams. Yet now, I am in the midst of a journey to reawaken my soul and I am finally ready to truly embrace and love myself.
So as countless flowers are delivered, boxes of chocolate are bought, and reservations for two are made, I will be celebrating Thursday with some friends. This year I do not expect to receive a greeting card filled with a lover’s declaration – except for my mom’s which surprisingly arrived in Italy a day early and is equally filled with warmth and affection. Therefore, I have decided to write my own love letter: a letter where I will profess my gratitude, appreciation and love for a very special person – me.
Dearest Amelia Rose,
You are in a relationship that has grown and transformed over the past 24 years and will continue to do so. It is the most important relationship you will ever be in, and as with any commitment, you must continually nurture it with patience and love.
Please be proud of what you have done. Your accomplishments, big and small, make you who you are. Strive to be a role model and make your actions follow suit. Take delight in the simple things and do not worry over what you cannot change. You are not just doing the best you can, you are thriving and succeeding. Not many people have the courage to regain control of their lives and put themselves first. It is okay to embrace the anxious pride that comes with great change.
You have fought unjust battles, instigated unnecessary conflict, and made unfortunate mistakes – but you are forgiven. Do not hold them against you and let them be an anchor weighing you down. Your past is a part of you but it does not define you. Learn from your experiences and share your wisdom with others.
True beauty radiates from within. A beautiful appearance reflects a beautiful soul. Treat your body with sensitivity and affection – do not abuse nor criticize it. Allow yourself time to heal and gain strength. You are unique and you are beautiful – believe it and you will portray it. Do not let the ego cloud your vision and distort your perception of how you look.
Most importantly, you deserve to be loved. Being appreciated, adored, and cared for is not something that is reserved for an elite few. Every single person deserves love. Make time in your life for romance – if your back is always turned, you will never see what is right in front of you. Let yourself love with all of your heart and embrace the love extended to you. Remember that even if a relationship crumbles it is better to feel pain and hurt than to be numb - it means you are alive.
I will not leave you. I will not hurt you. I will always forgive you. I will always love you.