14 Feb choose love
On a day dedicated to celebrating love, I wanted to throw my heart into the mix and write a love letter. It’s no secret my love affair with construction paper hearts and glitter. It’s well known my affinity for chocolate and wine and kisses. This year, I’m embracing something new. Something I’ve not quite understood the value of until recently: self-love. Truly loving the person I am and celebrating the realization that I am worthy. Not ‘finally worthy’ but forever worthy, deserving, and enough. Mind blowing.
Many of us struggle with this idea our whole life, never fully grasping that we were made with love of love. Our purpose is to love. Our job, our mission, our destiny… our best adventure is love. Our greatest gift is love. Our biggest fear is love. Our biggest investment, our scariest risk, and our greatest reward is love. Again, mind blowing.
Today is a fun holiday filled with cards and candies, date nights, pretty flowers and hallmark traditions. Some sneer at the commercialism, others dive into it head first. That’s just the surface level stuff… do with it what you will. Today, I’m pressing forward into something deeper. Something more personal. Something permanent, fundamental, and thrilling.
The love affair with myself is what gives me the ability to love others, to care for them when they are hurting, and to teach them to see themselves with different eyes. I haven’t always loved myself. I’ve fought to protect myself. I’ve pushed through harsh criticism and emotional abuse to preserve myself. I’ve even sought after external love to build the life I wanted. But never before have I stripped away the layers to uncover the one who needs my love the most. Me.
Every day, I am struck by how desperately we are all seeking love. When I work with students, my heart just aches for them and how vulnerable they are, how easily influenced, how tough they try to be and yet how tender their hearts are. If I could shield them from the hurts that are heading their way, I would. I don’t want their hearts to break. I don’t want their tears to fall, or their precious self-worth to be damaged by this hurtful world. I know it is part of the journey. I know it is unavoidable. I just can’t stand it and wish I could prevent it somehow.
If I could go back and talk to a younger me, I would tell her about love. I would show her how to see herself through loving eyes. I would share with her the importance of self-love, and how being kind to herself isn’t wrong. I would teach her that all good things flow from love, not fear. I would give her a glimpse of her future and tell her that love will always be there, even when she feels alone or unworthy. I would let her take a peek at her creation, and watch her eyes light up as she sees the hands of love putting her together, artfully and carefully, sewing into her very fiber more love than can possibly be contained. I would encourage her to pour out love every single day and then advise her to be still as she is then refilled with more love. It’s the thing that never runs out. The gift that has a hefty price tag but one we can all afford to give. It’s sweeter than chocolate, more heady than wine, and lasts longer than a construction paper heart.
I choose love this Valentine’s Day. I choose to love myself, care for myself, forgive myself, grow myself, tend to myself, and cherish myself. And because of this choice, I am much more able to love others. I hope today, you see yourself with loving eyes. When you talk to yourself, speak kindly and with loving tenderness. When you mess up today, and you will, I hope you take time to gently dust yourself off and restore yourself with words of encouragement and love.
Today, choose love.
It’s Just Me…
The blog, It’s Just Me, is written by Holly Chamberlain who makes a living as a sales manager for a global pharmaceutical company but who makes a life by working with teenagers, teachers, and parents to redefine the criteria for self-harm and suicide. She is the Founder of the aMasongrace project and shares these core messages with students to help build resilience, offer hope, and improve self-esteem: Moments Pass, Please Stay, & You Matter. To subscribe to the blog, please visit the website and enter your email address, www.aMasongraceproject.com. Follow the aMasongrace project on Twitter and Instagram @aMgYouMatter. To invite the aMasongrace project to speak at a youth group or school, please contact Holly via aMasongraceproject@gmail.com.