Happy Valentine's Day! Those who know me well know that I LOVE holidays. They are often such a fun time. I know that many jokingly call Valentine's Day "Single's Awareness Day" but I think Valentine's Day offers such an important opportunity for singles, and those in relationships, to reflect on the love they offer themselves. One of the scholars who greatly influences my work as a life coach is bell hooks (I refer to her as "Angel bell hooks" because she has literally been an angel in my healing journey). Here is one of the most powerful things she ever wrote. It knocked me off my feet. You might like it too:
“One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others. There was a time when I felt lousy about my over-forty body, saw myself as too fat, too this, or too that. Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am. It is silly, isn't it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself. This was a moment when the maxim "You can never love anybody if you are unable to love yourself" made clear sense. And I add, "Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself.”
I encourage you to reflect on all of your relationships and ask yourself: Am I giving myself the respect I expect from others? Am I giving myself the quality time I expect him to give me? Am I speaking to myself and thinking kindly of myself the way I expect her to? Am I getting the love I desire? If you are not granting yourself the love you expect from others, you are actually not loving others...you are using them to meet the your unfulfilled needs. That, dear, is not love. That is manipulation. The universe is designed to reflect the realities we have first created in our minds. When you know that you are worthy of healthy love and respect, receiving it will only affirm what you already expect. Being loved, and being loved well, is all that you will allow from yourself and others. You deserve it! bell said something else awesome, “To love well is the task in all meaningful relationships, not just romantic bonds.” Go love yourself today. Tell yourself how awesome you are. Buy yourself a gift. Spend time with you. Give yourself a hug! The universe will surely respond in kind. Let B. Well support you in journey toward becoming more self-loving. We'd be honored to love you, as you love yourself.
Dr. Adrianne R. Pinkney
Integrative Wellness and Life Coach