As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of us are thinking of ways to make it special for our significant other. From roses, cooked dinners, or even engagements, Valentine’s Day is known worldwide as the day to declare your love. For singles, this can be a difficult time and for couples, it can be a challenge to outdo what was done last year. Declaring one’s love for one’s spouse is something that should be done regularly and honestly, no one needs a holiday for such an occasion.

This Valentine’s Day, take time to declare your love for yourself. So many of us look to relationships to make us happy but we have to be happy with ourselves to love and ultimately give our all in any relationship.

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. -Song of Solomon 4:7

How do you show up for yourself every day? This is a question we should all ask ourselves. Are you truly present, or do you just go about the daily routines? Are you walking around carrying guilt, fear, pain, and loneliness? If so, you are not showing yourself love.

Loving yourself can be hard and even painful. It requires looking into yourself and acknowledging your imperfections. The choices you’ve made that weren’t wise, and the things that didn’t work out the way you expected. It can mean forgiving yourself for something you’ve always felt was your fault. Walking away from an abusive relationship or even opening your heart to a family member that hurt you. It could mean letting go of perfectionism, from unrealistic weight goals that you set for yourself years ago to accepting your body the way it is. Maybe there’s a standard that your parents set for you that wasn’t achieved or a certain level of income that you expected. No one is perfect, even you, and acknowledging that is part of loving yourself.

Loving yourself is counting your blessings and thanking God every day for getting to where you are now. It’s a reminder of the hard work you’ve done to create the life you have. Looking back at the person you used to be and how much you’ve grown. It’s looking around you at the community you’ve created and the lives you’re impacting. It’s letting go of your instinct to want to control everything and trusting that God’s got you each time you fall.

Loving yourself is caring for your mind, body, and soul and making healthy decisions about what you do, eat, watch, and listen to.

The irony of loving yourself is that you will learn to love others in the same way.

How are you loving yourself this Valentine’s Day? Share in the comments below.