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  • Carroll Devine

Be Your Own Valentine

What about loving YOURSELF on this Valentine’s Day?

It’s not what you might think. It’s not being “in love” with yourself and your image, your ego. It certainly has nothing to do with taking “Selfies” and posting them everywhere.

It is loving yourself as a functioning, integral part of the Universe and seeing the beauty of all. It’s recognizing who you are as part of the whole and what you have to give to the world. It is learning how to maintain your health – spiritual, mental, and physical, and happily doing what that takes so that you can contribute to make the world a better place.

Too much has been written about love and yet too little is really said or understood.

Do we even know what self-love is? Clinical Psychologist #@Deborah Khoshaba, explored the question in #Psychology Today (March 2012). She called it “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic,” Khoshaba said. It grows by actions that mature us.”

In a recent obituary of a ninety-five-year-old woman published in the #New Orleans Advocate, a survivor said of her that “she lived life to its fullest. She believed self-pity was a luxury she could not afford, and never complained.”

Clearly, this woman’s self-love was healthy because love isn’t about pitying, appeasing, making excuses for, negatively enabling, or being “tolerant” of bad behavior – yours or anyone else’s.

According to Khoshaba, by acting in ways that increase our self-love, we’re better able to accept our weaknesses as well as our strengths and we “have compassion for ourselves as human beings.”

At the same time, in her “Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love,” Khoshaba encouraged self-forgiveness. “The downside of taking responsibility for our actions is punishing ourselves too much for mistakes in learning and growing. You have to accept your humanness (the fact that you are not perfect), before you can truly love yourself.

Perhaps the American poet Walt Whitman said it best in his “Song of Myself.”

“I celebrate myself and sing myself. And what I assume you shall assume. For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”

Have a beautiful Valentine’s Day! Pass it on.

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