On the day after Christmas 2022 we posted a Moment of Motivation that asked “Do know someone who didn’t get a gift under their tree?” and answered, “Kindness is the perfect gift for today or any day!” It is the perfect gift even for those who did find many presents under their trees. If you were the one with the empty stocking, you might have given yourself the gift of kindness. Today, the day after Valentine’s Day we could ask, “Do you know someone who didn’t get any Valentines in their mailbox?” And might answer similarly to our Christmas query with! “Love is the perfect gift for today or any day!” Yes, we know it is the perfect gift for everyone, even for yourself!
The support and love you give others is the greatest gift you can give, regardless of the occasion. In our post Three Little Words we suggested Valentine’s Day might be lovers, but love is for so many more. Love in all its forms is a source of strength and motivation for us. People quite naturally respond positively to signs of love.
In another Moment of Motivation our meme read “Someone is smiling today because of you.” In the accompanying text we said, “Maybe it’s a long buried memory. Maybe it’s the way you said good morning. Maybe it was a twinkle in your eye or a song that came from your shower. Maybe it was just you being kind and courteous, friendly and caring. Somebody will smile at something you did today.” It is true. The effect you have on other people is noticeable. You are significant, you are noticed, you make a difference!
All those things that you do for others, you also can do for yourself. You should do for yourself! The positivity from the strength and motivation we release when we love somebody also includes how we feel when we know we love ourselves. The effect we have on others also affects ourselves. Nobody spends more time with us than we do with ourselves. From the moment we wake up to the moment we lay our head on the pillow at night, we are our own constant companion. We have only ourselves to confer regarding every choice we make, every thought we have, every word we speak, and every emotion we feel. It would be foolish to spend that much time with somebody we don’t like.
When you love yourself you appreciate yourself and find value in what you do. You are investing in your own happiness, unconditionally. Self love (philautia in the Greek concept of 7 loves) is critical for self health and well-being. It makes us motivated to stay in the positive world, allowing us to accept what is good for us and reject what we know is harmful - physically, mentally, and emotionally. It makes us want to take care of ourselves so we can be prepared to love and care for others.
An Internet search for “self love” or “how to practice self love” returns a myriad of sites and references from “3 simple ways to love yourself,” to “34 ways to be good to yourself,” to “150 ways to improve your self esteem!” What is most important no matter how far you are going to journey into the world of self-love is the first step – you must be comfortable with who you are. Once you accept yourself for yourself you can begin to recognize the good you do, the shortcomings to avoid, and the friend that you can be to yourself.
Was your mailbox bursting with valentines, or did Cupid’s arrow sail right past you? If you know somebody whose mailbox was empty yesterday (or even one with a bursting box), love is the perfect gift for today or any day! It’s the perfect gift for everyone, even for yourself!