It seems impossible not to think about love this time of year when the stores fill with huge displays of red and pink cards, candy hearts, flowers, and chocolates. Commercials advertise romantic getaways and candlelit dinners, and remind everyone to think of their “special someone.” But for those of you who have yet to find that “special someone,” or who are seeking to find love again, Valentine’s Day may not feel joyful.
You Are Your Own Special Someone
The pressure to be in love on this holiday may even feel like a burden, bringing to the surface feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. When faced with the imagery of the season, it can seem that the whole world is caught up in a whirlwind of romantic bliss, which in turn can make you feel that because you’re not sitting at a table for two on a beach at sunset that something is wrong with you. Thoughts like, “I will never find love,” or “I’m not good enough to love” often arise. The truth is, you are your own “special someone,” and loving yourself is the first step to finding love outside yourself.
Stay True To Who You Are
Let’s take my student Sandy as an example. Sandy started online dating as a divorced fifty-something. She knew exactly what she was looking for: a financially stable, intellectually stimulating, attractive man who would share the same values she held dear, and who would also be a caring figure in her daughter’s life. She presented herself online as the type of woman she thought this ideal man would be interested in, rather than presenting her true self. While she started out optimistically, after several failed coffee dates, she began to believe something was wrong with her. These men were exactly what she wanted on the surface, and yet, not one called her for a second date. Sandy’s self-esteem shriveled.
After months of waiting and hoping that someone would love her, Sandy gave up. What she didn’t realize then was that by trying to be the kind of woman she thought she should be, she was doing a great disservice to the woman she actually was. How could anyone see the real Sandy shine when she couldn’t see her own bright light? How could anyone love her, when she didn’t love herself?
This situation is not unique to Sandy. As a spiritual teacher, I see many people who are their own harshest critics, their own self-saboteurs. Sandy was down on herself for many reasons. Failing to find love was just another line on a long list of perceived “failures” in her life. She’d “failed” at her marriage. She’d “failed” at being the perfect daughter her mother wanted. She was a tad overweight, despite rigorous dieting and almost daily gym workouts, her freelance business was floundering in the down economy, and she didn’t spend as much time with her daughter as she wished. Sandy felt she was never “good enough,” and instead of nurturing herself with love and self-care, she berated herself constantly for not measuring up to impossible standards and created a vicious cycle of decreasing self-esteem.
You Are Enough
A lack of self-esteem comes from the mistaken belief of “I’m not enough.” It’s a common misperception that so many of my students hold at some point in their lives, often for many years at a time. It takes a lot of work to break out of the stranglehold this lie can take on your life and heart. The lie that “I am not enough” and therefore “I am not worthy of love” causes the believer to sacrifice his or herself for another person. It seeks external validation by convincing you that what the other person feels/thinks/wants is more important than what you feel/think/want. This sacrificing of oneself has destroyed more relationships—and potential relationships—that I can count.
Sandy attended my online healing courses and learned some helpful tools for dealing with her misguided belief of “I’m not enough.” Journaling helped Sandy focus on her strengths rather than on her weaknesses, and meditation helped her find inner peace and expanded consciousness. She worked hard on balancing her third chakra, the solar plexus chakra, which held deep emotional trauma from earlier experiences, both as a child and in her marriage. And after reading my most recent book, Entangled in Darkness, she even braved delving into her shadow side and forgave her so-called imperfections. By practicing self-love, she uncovered her own inner light. And guess what? At fifty-eight she even found external love in a romantic relationship again.
Here are 7 Steps to Practice for Making Yourself Your Own Special Someone:
1. Begin each day with love (not technology). Breathe love in and out before getting out of bed. Love your imperfectly perfect self.
2. Work on balancing your chakras and pay attention to your spiritual development to learn to love on a deeper level.
3. Don’t do things that bring you down, or allow toxic people in your life.
4. Forgive yourself for past mistakes.
5. Speak up, speak out; let the real you be seen.
6. Imagine what life would look like if you believed in your own worth.
7. Trust yourself. You have ability to make important changes for yourself if you put your heart and will into it.
I’m always proud of people when they “get it,” and Sandy got it, using these very steps. Not just the guy, but the spiritually grounded self-esteem and self-love she will now carry throughout her life. Like Sandy, you too can learn to recognize that you are indeed “good enough,” which will make it easier to love yourself, which in turn makes it easier to find love.
New York Times best-selling author, health & wellness expert, and spiritual teacher Deborah King was a successful attorney in her twenties when she was diagnosed with cancer, which began a quest for healing that would radically change her life. Her amazing recovery led her to leave the corporate arena for the field of energy medicine, where she mastered ancient and modern systems, ultimately developing a powerful technique of her own.