Think Valentine's Day is only for those in love? Think again. Gala Darling shares a powerful perspective shift that can make this day—and every one following it—so much more meaningful. Here, how to find self-love. Originally published on February 5.
Valentine’s Day was the genesis of the radical self love movement. I had started my own journey to self-love back in 2006, but it all came together -- and got a name -- on Valentine’s Day in 2011. I remember sitting at my desk, browsing blogs and Twitter, and seeing so much sadness, frustration and overwhelm. I was flummoxed by the way that this nonsense holiday would send so many women into a tizzy. And these weren’t basic babes, either -- they were badasses. They ran their own companies, wrote their own rules, and wore thigh-high boots to family dinners! They had an inherent sense of their own self-worth… But somehow, on February 14th, that all went out the window. Suddenly, their value was only visible if it was reflected back at them by someone else.
Of course, we know that this doesn’t work. But we get confused by how to put it into practice.
The first rule of happiness is that other people have to be irrelevant to it.
When we make someone else’s opinion about us more important than our own, we are walking into a world of misery (and might I add, bullshit). How could anyone else ever know more about you than you? YOU are inside of you all the time. You are the sovereign of your own nation. You know exactly who you are and you know exactly what you want. The only reason why you would ever feel insecure or uncertain about these things is because you are not taking enough time to yourself.
So how can we navigate this insane holiday without completely losing our shit?
The first thing we need to do is become practiced at creating our own world. For example, mine is called the Galaverse. (It’s bigger than just a world. It’s mammoth.) I work at creating this place all the time: with my sacred morning practice, by decorating my home with colors and things that I love, by spraying myself with fragrance that lights me up, by making feeling good a priority, by doing something creative every day, by surrounding myself with people who are fun and inspiring, and so on. When you are active in this process—of engineering the world that you want to live in—these external circumstances (like Valentine’s Day, or whether or not someone sent you flowers) start to become less and less relevant. They don’t shake your mood. Plus, you know you can always buy flowers for yourself.
Another thing that you can do if you’re feeling bad or sad about Valentine’s Day is to simply change the record in your mind. Becoming aware of the thoughts that you think is immensely powerful, because once you realise what you’re doing, you have the ability to stop yourself in your tracks! So if you find yourself going into a bummer spiral, you can think something else. Do a gratitude list in your head or even out loud. (I like to recite them aloud when I walk my dog Cleo. I think she thinks hearing them, too.) Or you can take it a step further and use your body to help change your energy. Jump up and down, have an orgasm, take a nap, dance or sing, or call a friend and get out of the house.
If you already know that Valentine’s Day tends to be a hard one for you, organize a social excursion ahead of time. Grab your best friend and go out and have a fabulous day. Maybe a mani/pedi date, a trip to an art gallery, or a killer shopping excursion are exactly what the doctor ordered.
Finally, why not spend Valentine’s Day celebrating the love you have for yourself? Loving, appreciating, forgiving, and repeatedly choosing yourself over and over again is no small feat. It takes tremendous strength to continually rise to the occasion, to be your best self, and to never give up on yourself! When you have and do those things, falling in love with someone else is like adding a candle to the top of a birthday cake. It is already deeply splendiferous and glorious. That candle adds something magical, sure—but it is not the be all and end all.
This Valentine’s Day… Be your own birthday cake.
Read More of Gala Darling's Divine Wisdom Here:
When We're Honest About What We Want, Life Magically Blossoms
Strong Babes Need Strong BFFs
These 5 Home Hacks Will Rock Your Life
How to Read Tarot Cards
5 Relationship Rituals for a Deeper Connection With Your Partner