“Dear Darlin’ How much do I love thee? I’ll tell you no lie – I love you from the earth to the sky. You’re my sun and moon – my night and my day. Without you, dear, I’m just astray”.

Ok, so it’s not a Hallmark Valentine rhyme, but it got your attention. Imagine writing this little ditty - not to someone else - but to yourself!?! On this Valentines Day, a day of sharing loving thoughts with others, have you ever thought of giving loving thoughts to yourself? Darlin’, do you ever give yourself a big mushy, gooey, lovey Valentine gift just for being the wonderful creature you are?

I.M. Heart can help you to do that. The most wonderful Valentine you can give to yourself is to love – you! When you really love, accept and approve of yourself, exactly as you are now, everything in life changes. You are accepting of the person you were yesterday, the person you are today and the person you will be tomorrow. You forgive yourself for a past you cannot change, edit out the criticism or judgment, and believe in the future with a heart full of hope and faith. There is a saying I have had on my mirror in the bathroom for years. It says, “I love myself – just as I am – right now!” That’s what this is all about, loving you with warts, wrinkles, bulges, hiccups and hysterics – in all your magnificent humanity.

Loving yourself means not having to prove your own worth. You are worthy and deserving of love just because you are a living, breathing human being. You are not lovable for what you have accomplished, what you do, or who you are – you are lovable just because YOU are YOU. We continuously and unconditionally have the love of spirit – yet we fail to give to ourselves that grace and respect.

There are many steps you can take to love yourself. One is to create a space around you that is supporting and nurturing. You can do this by having a home, work, hobbies, pets, and friends or family that nurture you or provide a sanctuary from the windstorms of life. What do you do for yourself when the razzle-dazzle of everyday life has you feeling like a left-over from last week? Sometimes it is necessary to stop, relax, do something for yourself and regroup.

Loving yourself also requires action. Ask yourself what would make you happy? What do you love to do most? What attitudes and behaviors can you change to be more loving with yourself? Try these ideas:

Learn to say “no”
Forgive yourself
Turn loose of what you cannot change
Ask for what you want
Stop when you are tired
Play more
Spend more time in nature
Listen to your favorite music
Make time for family and friends
Eat chocolate and ice cream
Make time for a favorite hobby
Take a nap

These twelve ideas are only the beginning. There are many more ways you can become loving to yourself. Only you know what those might be. Take the time to consider what would be meaningful for you and then make those things a part of your life. I.M. Heart has many ideas for building a richer and more fulfilling life.

Loving yourself is knowing and believing that you deserve the whole world – not just a tiny fragment of it. We often think that we can’t have anything better, so we don’t put any effort into creating what we really want. Underneath our lack of action is the belief that we don’t deserve anything more. Our focus is on muddling through the current situation, not on action we can take to make it better.

The bottom line: You deserve your heart’s desires. You are deserving, worthy, valuable, and lovable “just as you are – right now”. So, send a Valentine to yourself – a love letter – the title is: The Top 10 Reasons I Love Myself – and sign it with a hug and a kiss.


Author's Bio: 

The focus of Sue McDaniel's career has been in education, teaching, and state government. She has traveled nationally and internationally as a speaker and consultant on management and communication topics. At the state level, she is a speaker on personal growth topics. During her tenure as Executive Director of the Missouri Women’s Council, she spoke to numerous college classes, women’s groups and state government conferences about the power of personal growth and change. I.M. Heart was published in November 2007, by Alternatives.