Valentines Day is creeping up on us and as a single lady most would assume that I will dread every moment of love filled joy on February 14th. If you thought that you’d be very wrong! I actually love Valentines Day. I will be 26 this year and have been single every single year for V-Day. For a while it sucked! I hated being the only one without a valentine or not getting flowers from some cute guy. ( I mean who hates free flowers?!?!) Over the years I have began to change what defines Valentines Day in my life. I believe that it is more so about self-love. Before you could learn to love your significant other you had to first learn to love yourself.
For me self-love is really important. As a teenager I dealt with body image issues and rejection, as most teenagers sadly do. My issues with my body ranged from weight issues to fear of embracing my race and my natural hair. I’ve struggled through the years with my relationship with men-boys-males. I have yet to have a positive lasting relationship. For years I thought that it was my fault, that I was undesirable. It has taken me years to get where I am today and its all because I started out my 2017 getting dumped! (yeah, he had the decency to do it on January 1st!) Over the past month or so I quickly have learned that there is nothing wrong with me, I am not to blame. No matter what reason he could possible give me, I was strong enough to not fall back on old tendencies because I loved myself more than I could ever care for him.
Self Love is a difficult thing to master. I have a tattoo on my wrist of a plain and simple red heart. I got it when I was 18 or 19 as a way to signify the start of my trying to learn to love myself. I honestly forget it’s there most of the time, but the fact that it is there constantly sits in the back of my mind. When I think of loving yourself, specifically as a black woman, I think that there is more than just accepting what you see in the mirror. Being a person of color is hard, really hard. When you learn to love yourself you have to also learn to love your strength. The strength that gives you the ability to love your natural hair, your beautifully melanin dipped skin. The strength to face criticism, racism, judgement. So while looking in the mirror and loving what you see is important, you must have the strength to love what you see despite the fact that it’s going to make life difficult. And that’s okay, because you are STRONG.
I would say that the Black Instagram community has played a big part in my journey to self-love. Until recently I had never used words like queen and crown as a way to positively describe myself. Now I’ve taken it upon myself to teach my younger sisters the importance of describing oneself in a positive black light. Check out #queen, #mycrown, #melanin, and #blackgirlmagic on Instagram for some girls showing how much they love the melanin they are in!
I wouldn’t say that I have mastered self-love. I am still growing and learning everyday. For those that are learning to love your self, do these things everyday:
- Take a Selfie and Share it!
- Dance and Sing
- Treat Yourself to something that makes you happy
- Treat your body with love and respect
- First find approval from yourself before seeking it from others
- Allow yourself to learn to love yourself before trying to love someone else
- Wear your hair HOWEVER you want
- Embrace and Highlight aspects of yourself you may not like
For Valentines Day try loving yourself and stop waiting for someone else to treat you to the things you want. Go treat yourself and your girls to a valentines dinner or brunch, go buy yourself some flowers or chocolate. Go do anything except wait for someone else to do it for you! Eventually you will find someone who loves you simply because of how much love you have for yourself.