In this month that holds Valentine’s Day, I’ve been thinking about what it’s all about, really. It is a big commercial day: flowers; candy, especially chocolate; dinners out at nice restaurants; gifts; and a day when some people propose marriage to the ones they love. Shopping aisles are full of red and pink everything trying to draw us into the “spirit of the day.” I believe in love, but maybe on a softer, quieter level.

The love I’d like to talk about this month is self-love. Experts say that if you can’t love yourself, you can’t really love someone else. What are the signs of self-love?

eating properly
getting enough sleep
being at least a little social
moving your body/exercise
being kind to yourself
forgiving yourself when you make mistakes
appreciating yourself when you accomplish something you’ve been working toward
rewarding yourself in some way for that accomplishment
talking to yourself as you do to a good friend
having some fun
and on and on with all the positive thoughts you can muster for yourself

Here is a poem I found by e.h. (Erin Hanson) that gave me food for thought. I hope it will for you, too.


You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear.
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks.
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak.
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide.
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried.
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you’re all alone.
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home.
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love.
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of.
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined
By all the things you’re not.

What are some things you know you are that you don’t show to the world? Make a list, then write about one of them: what makes it you, why don’t you show it, how do you feel about hiding it?

How have you defined yourself in ways you are really not.

Write a poem contrasting an aspect that is the real you with one you show the world.

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