February can be a difficult month for a lot of people. Everything is covered in red and pink hearts, cupids, gushy sayings… reminding us of romance and that Valentine’s Day is at hand. Most of my adult life, I too have had a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day; however, that being said I’m extremely grateful for friends and family who always made it special. Not only has Valentine’s Day been co-opted by our capitalistic society, like all of our other modern celebrations, to make matters worse, the media’s focus is that of (usually hetero-normal) couples and romance. This further perpetuates self-worth issues and feelings of loneliness in those who are single, whether by choice or situation, not to mention further segregating our society based on race, financial status, and sexual preference.
As a teen and young adult, I longed for a relationship but I was too focused on my school work and checking boxes toward career goals set before me by others (that I didn’t even care about in the long run). Plus, I had extreme body image issues, a touch of gender dysmorphia, and some deep sacral & root chakra wounding. So as you can imagine, self-love was not even thought about as I saught outward validation of my worthiness. Nothing seemed to fill the gaping hole inside of me that I was sure “romantic love” would fill.
In 2017, in the midst of grad school my health issues took a turn for the worse. I started turning inward, taking control of my health, and working on self-worth. Learning to practice self-love, compassion, and to nourish my body instead of continually beating it up (which as a sculptor is always a factor but I was also mentally tough on myself too). I started deepening my eco-spiritual practice and Winter turned into a time of introspection and nourishment for myself. I found the hole fading away and not become as noticeable - if at all.
Loneliness is always bound to creep in even if you find yourself in a room full of people that love you. But you’ll probably notice it happening less and less. As they say - stop looking for what you want and what you need, will find you. Because I had started loving myself - I had opened myself to different types of love.
In late 2018, I met my main squeeze - ride or die - boo bear. I won’t say everyday is easy but the amount of growth I have experienced in the past few years because I opened myself up to a “real” relationship amazes me everyday. The confidence in myself and the business I’m building has also improved because I have a built-in cheerleader that wants me to be happy and enjoys watching me succeed. It is awfully nice to have someone to come home to after a tough day. While they might not always understand, it means a lot that they do their best. Plus showing me compassion, encouragement, and teaching me important lessons about navigating adulthood and relationships means the absolute world to me. Is a relationship of this type necessary to be happy and fulfilled? No, certainly not, but it sure beats having to face everything alone.
And guess what… even though we are together, it does not make the Winter holidays, especially Valentine’s Day any easier for us - our scars and triggers still surface. Sometimes the hole pops up again and even having my partner right beside me, can’t fix it. That is when I know I need to circle back to myself and feel into what I need, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
My mission the past few years, as my creative mindfulness & healing practice has started to really take root and blossom, has been to assist others in rewilding their lives and connecting deeply with themselves. In December of 2021, as I was planning workshops, I conceived the idea for making February, Radical Self-Love month, to share with others the lessons I have learned along the way and to encourage others to deepen their relationship with themselves. Seeing others reconnect with themselves and show themselves love even for a few hours was heartwarming. So this year, I can’t wait to share all the love and inspiration I can, as I hold space for others traversing their self-love journey.
Let’s change how we approach Valentine’s Day and February, by showering ourselves in love! And if we have special people in our lives - do the same for them regardless of our relationship status. Spreading a little love never hurt anyone! Then maybe, just maybe, we will make it a habit and do it year round, instead of waiting for a special day or month to show someone we love them.
If you are looking for ways to practice more self-love this year - be sure to tune into my social media platforms as I share messages of love, affirmations for self-worth, and much more this February (really always)...
And if you live local to Thurmont, MD consider joining me at Catoctin Mountain Massage and Wellness Center - Saturday, February 4th from 12:30 - 2 pm for the Radical Self-Love workshop. We will be connecting to ourselves, releasing tension, blending our own unique, crystal infused essential oil blends, and experiencing a self-love ritual you can add into your daily lives to remind yourself to have compassion and to nurture yourself, as well as others. Space is limited and the class is filling fast, so be sure to reserve your spot today, right here!