The topic of love is on my mind, hence Valentine’s Day week. It’s an important reminder for many of us, because so many of us wait until we’re broken, exhausted, or sick to realize how important it is to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves first.
As a young girl, I frequently visited my grandparent’s house and would hang out in my Aunt’s bedroom so I could read the “Love Is…” cartoons that she had plastered all over her closet door. At the time, I just thought she was cool, she played the organ and was always happy and I completely attributed that to her funny “Love Is…” cartoons. I realize now there was a much deeper message to the “Love Is…” cartoons, they were more than just cute sayings.
As the years went by, I was fortunate enough to experience deep relationship love, the amazing love for my children, and unconditional love from our pets. At times, I also experienced great heartbreak, sadness, fear, anger, and exhaustion hidden in that love.
I have found that “Love Is…” can be described very different during the years, which may be why there were so many “Love Is…” cartoons on my Aunt’s door. Our experiences change how we define love and we learn to feel love in many different ways. There isn’t one single definition for what “Love Is…” though I have learned and want to share the importance of self-love.
For self-love, we have to address buried issues that may be doing us harm. We need to trust ourselves and think positive thoughts. We need to eat good food. We need to exercise to keep our bodies moving. We need to live in moderation. We need to smile and laugh out loud.
By practicing how to love ourselves first, only then can we love and care for others.