Love attracts love… a mantra that came to me when I needed to hear it most. At the time I was alone, struggling to find my self-worth and unable to convince myself that I deserved love and deserved to be treated with respect by a partner. I had been “looking for someone to love” for a long time. The problem was I was looking without and not within. We’ve heard it many times before, you must love yourself first, but until I actually did it, I didn’t understand.
I used to love Valentine’s Day. In public school we would spend all evening filling out cards with our favourite characters on them to pass them out to each person in our class. In high school a bit more complicated with anonymous carnation deliveries and very much about who you were dating at the time. The capacity to make or break the relationship if the day was not exactly perfect. As an adult, Valentine’s Day comes around either as the very strong reminder that you are single (like you really forgot) or more pressure to curate the perfect date, gift etc.. What took me so long to figure out was that this self-imposed stress (you can only blame the card companies so much) was because of how I was using love for my validation. My expectations were extremely high, and I was consistently disappointed and heartbroken that either the person I was dating couldn’t read my mind or was actually human.
This is where most of us get stuck. We rely on others to determine our self-worth. Whether it is a romantic partner, the relationship we have with our parents or the group of friends we hang out with. The more we look to others to fill us up, the more depleted we will be. So how do we begin to build a more loving relationship with our self? We start with treating ourselves in the same way we treat the people in our life that we love the most. We know how to love others, now shine this light back in. Then we will really know true love.
Start with forgiveness, give yourself a break for whatever weighs on you. Do you yell at your best friend for eating that extra cookie or missing the gym? For the things they should have known sooner or second-guessing judgments that made sense at the time? And then self-care, self-care, self-care. What makes you happy? What fills your cup? Stop waiting for someone else to do this for you! Self-care has become quite the buzz word lately, but there is a reason which is because we are severely lacking in our abilities to take care of ourselves, to love our selves. And then practice Yoga. In fact, Yoga is the ultimate practice for creating a more loving relationship to Self. Yoga teaches us to pull back the layers and come to our true Self, our light within.
Whether you are in a relationship or not, we must always remember this. Love for our Self first, then that love will only attract more love. Love attracts love. The more we love our self the greater our capacity to love others around us. The more compassion we feel towards our friends, family and romantic partners. This Valentine’s Day, enjoy it for what it is – a day all about love. And then.. play Lizzo’s song Soulmate at top volume and listen to every word!
I painted these words on the Love Wall at the 2019 Sattva Summit at the Sattva Centre in Rishikesh, India. Hold them in your heart as I do in mine.