Cindy Hoard

Inspirational Author and Psychologist

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Valentine’s day has a long history of looking at love through romance, admiration and friendship. This year, I would like you to also consider personal self-love language. Research has demonstrated that when individuals love themselves from a position of self-care, self-respect and self-compassion, they are ultimately more loving, caring and compassionate toward others.

Self-compassion and self-care are not selfish
When we can move beyond judgment of self and others, our bright sides show and we can appreciate and value life in many more ways. Self-compassion and self-care help us stay in touch with our inherent self-worth and serve as a mirror of reflection of these qualities to those who surround us.

Love comes in so many forms
Take a few minutes and consider all of the different ways you can convey love and what reciprocal forms of love affect you the most. There are physical expressions of love from a simple hug to a much deeper physical relationship. Using words of caring or appreciation can be moving and uplifting. Just spending quality time together lets the love show and flow. Doing special things for oneself or others can be heartwarming. Use your imagination and think of some novel ways to show or express love you might not have previously considered.

Misconceptions about love
The day-to-day reality of experiences and expressions of love can be highly variable. Certainly there are the warm and fuzzy expressions and actions, but there are two sides to every coin. Loving someone may call us to say things out of care and concern to support someone special. Sometimes that means having a more difficult and emotional conversation, can be the most loving thing we can do for someone.

What gifts can I give on Valentine’s Day?
The very best gifts do not have to cost a penny! Sure you can buy cards, chocolates, flowers, lingerie, and so much more. But what if your gifts were expressions of love and caring instead of material items. Besides, consider how you share love throughout the year. Leave sticky notes or small notes in unexpected places to your loved one. How about writing them a letter that shares the qualities about them you most appreciate and admire. Make a special meal or treat to share. Do something outside in nature, marveling at the wonders of creation that exude love.

You might consider the thoughts of the heart and soul that are inspiring to yourself and others. Contemplation, deep breathing with awareness and quiet time provide the perfect conditions for reflection. What gifts have you given yourself recently?

Practice some new way of expressing love to those who you cherish. Be aware of how you feel when you are gifting affection.

Remember that self-compassion and self-care are perfect fertilizers for expressing your love to others.

Let your love grow and spread! Cindy

Photo credit: Amy Shamblen (Unsplash)