Be Your Own Valentine
Another Valentine’s Day is here. Right after New Year’s Eve..it happens…stores increasingly get festooned in red and pink paper hearts, flowers and cherubs. “I heart you” t-shirts, teddy bears and mugs seemingly pop out of every corner in preparation for V-day. In my opinion, this 1.2-million-dollar industry in the US, is consumerism at its worst, leaving many single women (and men!) feeling less worthy than their couple counterparts.
It’s time we redefine this day of celebrating romantic love, as a day that celebrates all types of love, but most importantly, as a day that celebrates radical self-love. A person’s romantic relationship shouldn’t define their success or elevate their social status. This year, I’m sharing some of my favorite quotes from strong women who remind us to love ourselves. Wisdom from women whose strength and activism helped create more inclusive societies and carved out identities that go beyond the value of a box of chocolates.
“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”
— Louisa May Alcott
A metaphor that captures the lifelong process of self-love, acceptance, strength and perseverance; themes that are present throughout Alcott’s life and works.
“I don’t want to be married. Because I could not have the life that I created for myself… I knew that I couldn’t do it.”
— Oprah Winfrey
An empowering quote from a woman whose perspective on the institution of marriage directly reflects the depth of security, joy, love and peace she has found within herself. She is a strong woman who doesn’t want or need for a relationship to make her feel whole — and that is a beautiful place to be at in life.
“Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.”
A living and breathing example of self-love. We’ve all found ourselves influenced by negative people at some point. At times, it’s easy to forgot how susceptible our minds are to negativity if we aren’t vigilant. The First Lady’s sheds a brighter light on how she practices self-love.
“The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.”
I love this beautiful quote from one of America’s most beloved actresses and humanitarians. Not just because it reveals a profound truth, but also because it perfectly captures her lovely and powerful experience.
“…the most foolish kind of prejudice is prejudice against yourself. Every woman is your sister, and every woman needs her sisters. So try to give other women the courtesy of your compassion, respect, and forgiveness. Love yourself despite – and because of – your flaws.”
-Jewell Parker Rhodes
I find this quote from the Coretta Scott King award-winning novelist deeply movingespecially given the current conversations around women’s empowerment and progress.This quote captures the concept of sisterly love as well as the importance of self-love and acceptance. It teaches us to love unconditionally- even the parts of us we don’t always like. So take this Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to practice self-love: “treat YOUR self” and spend quality time solo or with the people you love. But whatever you do, don’t get caught up in the fantasy of a dozen red roses or the candlelit dinner. If those are things you want, go get them. You don’t need anyone else to buy them for you.
Let’s inspire the next generations of women by embracing self love and positivity. Let’s teach them how to appreciate and value themselves today and every other day.
Happy Valentine’s Day!