February: The Month of Love
It’s the month of love, hearts and valentines. The colors that come to mind are red, pink, a touch of green, and in some areas, a bit of purple appears. We express our love to our sweethearts, our dearest friends, and our beloved family members. We don colors associated with love and we search for the perfect card or gift for our own Valentines.
But how many of you think of sending love to yourselves? Personally, I am so terribly guilty of being hard on myself and having such high expectations of myself that I often forget to be kind to me, to be thoughtful of ME, to treat myself as I would any other person I love.
When I was in high school I read Erich Fromm’s book, The Art of Loving. He discussed the many aspects of love including the notion of self love but I was being raised in a family in which we were being taught that loving oneself was conceited, selfish, even unGodly. We were to be humble, to think of everyone else as better than we were, to “not be above yourself”.
Indeed, at the tender age of 8, I had discovered Greek and Roman Mythology and loved reading the stories. Imagine how excited I was to discover my name was a variation of the goddess Diana. Now these were the days when you could go into any drug store or tourist stop and find tons of items with individual’s names on them. I never could find my own name anywhere which caused me to despair that my name was so odd, I must be too. Even worse, maybe I did not have the right to exist. But here in the book of myths was the name Diana and I was so excited I jumped up and down on my bed exclaiming that I was actually a goddess! I was THRILLED~until my Grandmother grabbed my arm, pulled me off that bed and told me in no uncertain terms that I was a sinner for sure, talking like that. That was the end of my goddess identification for about 40 years! And it took me about that long to believe in my worth again.
So back to high school: when I read in Fromm’s book that self love was necessary in order to really love others I thought it was a very radical, even sinful, thought. I was scared to believe in this. I tried to push the thought away, even though it stayed with me and in some very real way I knew it to be true. It was such a struggle to try to rectify the teachings of my parents and grandparents with my own inner knowing.
Which is a long winded way of getting to my point: don’t be late in coming to the conclusion that you are worth loving. God does not create anyone who is not worthy of love. There are people who do bad things, and people who go down the wrong paths, but they are misguided and misled. Their being is still of the Light. They just don’t remember that, and have allowed the Darkness to gain a foothold in their souls. But at their core, they too, like the rest of us, not only come from Love and Light, but still have a spark of that inside.
But I am talking to those of you who, like me, put themselves last over and over to their own detriment. I wish that you could see yourselves as the Light and Beauty that others see in you. One of my own challenges is in being so tuned into a person’s true essence that I forget they also have a personality and that personality may not be at that higher level I can see. I’ve been hurt deeply throughout the years by this inability to discern between a person’s true nature and their earthly veneer. But I would certainly rather that than not being able to see a person’s goodness.
The good news is that with a lot of work, and the support of so many wonderful friends and family, I have come to see my own Light. Not in that conceited way my parents feared, but from a state of gratitude to God for creating me from star dust and LIght and the vibration of Love.
So this Valentine’s day honor your loved ones, but take some time to honor your SELF. You are one of a kind, a unique being, who is loved so deeply. Happy Valentine’s Day to you each day of the year!