As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of us are making romantic plans with our significant others. Some of us may be making plans with friends, whether socially-distanced-in-person get-togethers or virtual hangouts dancing across the interweb airwaves. Whatever the scenario, love is front and center in our minds. More specifically, relationships are at the forefront. We are focused on our relationships with others, but what about our relationship with ourselves? When was the last time you took yourself on a date?
Maintaining, nourishing, and celebrating our relationships is key to a rich and fulfilling life. Our relationships are where the magic of our lives truly happens. And key to all relationships is the relationship we have with ourselves. If we do not first know where we stand, how we’re doing, what we’re feeling and thinking, how can we know where our center is? How can we truly be in relationship to someone else in a healthy way?
Taking the time to get in touch with ourselves on a deep level lets us take stock of how we’re doing. We take our mental and emotional temperature. All the attention and nurturing we give to others, to our work, our community, all of that same level of awareness and giving we must first give to ourselves. “Know thyself,” as the ancient axiom says. And by taking the time to truly know yourself, you may begin to realize how you may or may not be who you thought you were.
The thing is, we are all growing and changing throughout our lives. Sometimes certain aspects of our lives, of ourselves, become outdated and we may not even realize it. Or maybe we do and we try to avoid it because the thought of making a change scares us. These changes happen internally and externally. It could be anything from clothes that don’t fit us anymore to relationships that are no longer working. It could be that our political or spiritual views have changed. Checking in with yourself and truly listening is key. The relationship you have with yourself will be the longest and potentially the deepest one you will have in your lifetime.
Get to know who you are. Set aside one day a month (or more!) for a date with yourself. Mark your calendar. Plan ahead. Hold this date sacred just as you would any other date or important appointment. Will it be a dinner date? An outdoor outing? Maybe a picnic and your favorite book? Or a hike? (Maybe rewarded with ice cream afterward!) How about buying yourself some flowers? This is your time to reconnect with yourself. By giving this time to yourself, you have the opportunity to live more authentically and, ultimately, love more fully.