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This Valentine's Day I'm falling in love with me...

Some people like me the moment we meet and others will never like me at all. And to be quite honest, there were plenty of days where I didn't like myself. I used to think that I needed to become the person I thought I could love. And the craziest thing about that was the person I thought I could love was some unattainable version of perfection created by society. I found it so easy to love and forgive everyone else while holding myself to these crazy, perfectionist standards. But what I soon learned was that I deserved my own love and affection as much as if not more than anyone else in the world.

See, Mark 12:31 tells us we must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. It took me a long time to understand the second part of this statement, but as I looked around at others who considered themselves givers like I did and reflected on my own pattern of behavior, something became abundantly clear. We would often times say things like, "I'm not looking for recognition for what I do, but those people are so ungrateful." We never expected for our selfless acts to be reciprocated, but in giving and rarely ever receiving we found ourselves emotionally starved...never realizing that we are all equally in need of love. Unfortunately, you can't pour from an empty cup. When you try, the result is resentment and bitterness towards those you intended to show love and compassion.

Since I've come to this realization, I've found so many different ways to truly love myself (find out how) which translates into truly loving others. But I like to reaffirm my commitment to loving myself often and what better time to do this than the month that's dedicated to love and romance! I'd love to hear more about how you shower yourself with much needed love and affection. Please share in the comments!

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