February is traditionally the month we associate with romantic love. In elementary school, we cut out construction-paper hearts and exchange cartoon Valentines and heart-shaped candies. As teenagers, we sent cards or roses (sometimes anonymously) to the objects of our affection (or, at that age, obsession). After college, the stakes got even higher, as Valentine’s Day turned into a battle of the have’s and have not’s of love. Attached or single, February somehow became about celebrating someone else or feeling bad about not having someone else.
This year, let’s make a pact not to do that. This month, I invite you to explore another kind of love: Self-love. At Tone and Style, we’re all about empowering YOU to be your very best. Cultivating your self-worth and self-esteem is key to learning how to truly embrace who YOU are. And I’m not saying this to you in the spirit of “no one can love you until you love you.” Screw that. Self-love is not the path to being loved. Self-love is the end game.
Except, that’s sort of misleading, too, because self-love—or the pursuit of it—is a never-ending process. You don’t just wake up one day and have it and that’s the end of the story. Like romantic love, it’s an ongoing affair, one with plenty of ebbs and flows. There will be days when you are enamored with yourself (your body, your life, who you are as a person) and those when you feel like the worst human on earth (believe me, we ALL feel that way sometimes).
Just like with any relationship, it’s the tough moments that make or break you. My suggestion? Have a strategy for dealing with those tougher days. First step, what do you tend to do? Wallow? Engage in self-pitying self-talk or do you get destructive and make bad, destructive choices (Ben and Jerry’s, I’m looking at you.)? Your first step is to figure that sh*t out. Second? Come up with ways that help you stop the noise in your head or make healthier choices for yourself. You may have to try a few different strategies to come up with one that works for you. And things that work for you now, may not work for you in another six months, so stay vigilant and adaptable.
On a sort of tangential note, one thing I find sort of ironic is that all this talk of self-love and acceptance comes directly on the heels of January’s inevitable “New Year, New You” mania. As someone who has gone through their own body transformation, I can tell you that when you lose weight or tone up or take charge of your life in a new way, what you feel isn’t like a totally new person. It’s true that people may treat you differently because you look different on the outside (which actually says more about them than it does you, if you think about it…) but who you are inside doesn’t change. If anything, you become more yourself, more true to who you really are, the version of you who is your highest, most actualized self.
The last thing I have to say about self-love is that it is not all about you. I believe that romantic love is actually, at its very core, about loving oneself. I believe that when we fall in love with another, what we are truly falling in love with is the person we are around this other person, the person they bring out of ourselves, the person they see through the lens of their own eyes. When we are loved and cherished by others, we are shown how to love and cherish ourselves in a new way.
That’s not to say that we NEED others to show us how to love ourselves and that we can not do this for ourselves (yes we absolutely can); it is simply a recognition of why it feels so good to love—and to be loved—and why it is natural to seek love above anything and everything else in life. I mean, really, without love, what is the point?
So have a great February everyone and enjoy all the great content we are planning for you. You’ll find tips for cultivating a self-love practice, a self-love gift guide and videos from one of my spiritual healers about using crystals and the moon to bring greater health, happiness and peace into your life.
Erin Condren stationary: https://www.erincondren.com/