obsessed with the brilliant max wanger and his photography skills
I always have these mixed feelings about Valentine's Day. Part of me thinks it's really freaking stupid. I have never seen the point and believe we should love fully, loudly, wholeheartedly each day. But the other part of me sees all the people walking around the city hand in hand, the gaggle of men carrying bouquets of flowers alongside their briefcase with exhaustion all over their face and yet they remembered to stop and grab flowers. The high school students carrying bags with stuffed animals spilling out, chocolates tucked under their arms, and little ones with heart stickers on their faces, book-bags sweaters, worn proudly to show the world they are loved. And that makes me think it's a pretty okay day after all.
Because at the root of today is love. Love. That delicious, necessary, lesson-filled love. Sneaky devil that one. We deserve love. Let's start there. You and I and everyone we know and everyone we don't know deserve massive amounts of love from the world, from community, and most importantly, within. And how do we do that? I only know how to answer that for myself.
Loving myself looks a whole lot like getting up and brushing my teeth when I'm dead tired and am already face first into the pillow.
Loving myself looks like figuring out what boundaries I need and creating them.
Loving myself looks like 45 minutes of intense spin class as many times a week as my wallet and body can handle.
Loving myself looks like stretching, arms over head, feet moving from flex to point and back again.
Loving myself looks like finishing the emails even when I don't want to, and knowing the difference of when I don't have to.
Loving myself looks like taking a night off to stay in.
Loving myself looks like actively silencing the critical and negative thoughts in my mind and encouraging the positive ones to get louder.
Loving myself looks like two furry nuggets running circles on my bed, paws pressing onto my face, and putting my notebooks/phone/laptop aside to play for a bit.
Loving myself looks like eating. Actual meals. More than once a day.
Loving myself looks like the delicate and difficult practices of forgiving myself and not judging myself.
Loving myself looks like two meditations a day, every day, nonnegotiable.
Loving myself looks like knowing the difference of when to pick up the phone and when to not pick up the phone.
Loving myself looks a whole lot like picking me, standing by me, and not abandoning myself for the people or opportunities that come along and tempt me to leave myself behind, waiting.
Loving myself looks like a smile as wide and as real as I've got, a greeting in the bathroom mirror, knowing my beauty does not live in my make-up bag.
Loving myself looks like taking risks, living out of my comfort zone and trying the scary things.
Loving myself looks like throwing out what I don't need anymore, donating what I can, cleaning the bathroom when I'd rather do anything else in the world.
Loving myself looks like a gentle reminder that it is definitely not my turn to buy the paper towels, the hand soap, the swiffers.
Loving myself looks like allowing others to help, accepting the hand extended toward me, seeking it out when needed.
Loving myself looks like a new haircut on a whim, changing the color just because I feel like it.
Loving myself looks like listening to my gut.
Loving myself looks a whole lot like my favorite places and the faces of my favorite people directly in front of me.
Loving myself looks like a phone on silent, a laptop shut.
Loving myself looks like opening a book and reading the words, turning actual pages, getting drawn in, while the television remains off.
Loving myself looks like marathons of pretty little liars because I can and I want to.
Loving myself looks like a brisk walk in fresh air to reboot my mind.
Loving myself looks like a pedicure and my heels far away, in my closet, and slippers as a replacement.
Loving myself looks like a morning hike in the warm sunshine, going as slowly as I'd like.
Loving myself looks like paying down credit card debt but trusting when it's necessary to spend on things.
Loving myself looks a whole lot like the word "no". Firmly.
Loving myself looks like admitting when I'm wrong and holding my ground when I'm certain.
Loving myself looks like the ability to hear your side, your story, your words, your fears, and not take them home with me.
Loving myself looks like a paintbrush in my hand, paint smeared on my skin, a canvas coming to life.
Loving myself looks like staying when I want to run.
Loving myself looks like honesty.
Come to think of it, what always drives me nuts is when incredible people are bemoaning how they don't have anyone to spend Valentine's Day with. They DO. It's themselves. They have the best date in the world and they are missing out. We can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Love can only spill out of us after the well is filled up within. And ignoring the beautiful, wonderful, amazing date you have waiting for you will not make any others to get here any sooner.
So tell me, what does love look like to you?