When you love yourself, you have a date every day (with you), and author Sidra Jafri tells about the importance of finding self love before looking for the perfect relationship.
This article has been cross-posted from Watkins Publishing.
February, they say, is the month of love. By now, you must have seen plenty of shops filled to the brim with cards bearing messages of love, trinkets inscribed with romantic slogans and books advising you how to appreciate the person you love on that special day –Valentine’s Day. Yes, the shops love Valentine’s Day. And whether you believe in it or not, the question must have crossed your mind at some point: ‘What does it mean to have true love’?
If you look around you, it’s very easy to see that everybody attaches his or her own meaning to the word ‘love’. Some people don’t feel loved unless they’ve received a token gift. Others need to hear the words. Some people appreciate simple acts of service as an expression of love. And then there are those who want to be whisked away on a wild holiday, or be pampered and treated like a prince or a princess. Everybody has their own unique idea of what love is or what love should be. And yet, most of us are struggling to find love.
Some people feel lonely even while they’re in an apparently loving relationship. Others judge themselves or criticise themselves for being single because society tells them that it’s not okay to be single, let alone be seen on Valentine’s Day without a date!
There was a time when I was struggling in a relationship. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I showed my love for my partner, something just wasn’t getting through to him and vice versa. We tried celebrating Valentine’s Day. We tried celebrating anniversaries. We even tried celebrating for no reason on random days. But something was missing.
It was only when I realised that the ‘perfect relationship’ is an illusion, that I stopped searching for one. That was when I woke up and saw how I had been wrapped up in this illusion of finding ‘true love’. How did I know it was an illusion? Because when I looked within myself I could see the source of the illusion. When we are born, the first thing we see is our parents and the happy relationship that they try to present to the world, the ideal relationship that they are striving to achieve. And then we see our other family members and teachers doing the same. So I saw that I had grown up with this built-in idea of what a relationship should be. And similarly, we celebrate Valentine’s Day because we ‘should’; we ‘must’ have a Valentine’s Day date – just because everybody else does.
This Valentine’s Day is going to be different. Why is that? Because if this Valentine’s Day was like any other Valentine’s Day, then the topic of the article you are reading would be something like: ‘Three steps to finding the love of your life this Valentine’s Day’.
Instead, the topic of this article is: ‘Why loving yourself is more important than having a Valentine’s date’. And this is great news. It shows that more and more people are beginning to question and see the truth behind the image of love that has been built up over the years in the media, in movies, in books and in mythology.
When I first started to question the validity of my own illusions around finding the ‘perfect’ love, I looked inside and found that I was lonely. A deep sense of loneliness inside me was creating this need to find the mythical ‘other half’.
So this brings us to the question you may have been wondering about. What is the connection between Valentine’s Day and self-love? It starts with this: that when we find ourselves feeling lonely and alone, the first thing many of us try to do is fill that void by seeking the ideal lover, or the missing event in our existing relationship. But as we’ve seen, this way is an illusion.
So how do you truly fill that void of loneliness? Firstly, by accepting that you are lonely, and that it’s okay to feel that way. It’s just a feeling. Don’t judge it. Really feel what the loneliness is about and be fully present with it. And secondly, accept that you want a loving person in your life because you want to be loved. And that’s okay, too. Acknowledge that you deserve to be loved because you matter, your life matters and your emotions matter.
When you do those things, something amazing happens. You realise that this loneliness, this void, was nothing but a part of you, which you previously didn’t want to see as it was too painful. Yet your awareness and acceptance of it allows it to dissolve. Like a light shining in the darkness, awareness is the key. And that is the first of the nine principles I write about in my book The Awakening – Nine Principles for Finding the Courage to Change your Life.
The reason we feel lonely is because we are buying into the myth that we are not good enough on our own. So we think we need someone to validate our existence. Here is a secret which becomes apparent only when you fully live with self-love: that if you were meant to be dependent on anybody then the universe would not have provided you with a fully independent body, will, mind and heart all of your own, all there to create your own happiness, to make your own life wonderful and to engage in life in wonderment of all the other souls who are on the same journey with you. When you start to live out the truth of this secret, that’s when your life becomes a Valentine’s Day every single day.
And that’s why it’s more important to love yourself than to have a Valentine’s date – because when you love yourself, you have a date every day (with you).
Sidra Jafri is an intuitive healer whose gifts go beyond the five senses. She helps people to shift the issues holding them back in areas such as wealth, relationships and wellbeing. The personal trauma of leaving her arranged marriage inspired her to develop the Principles of Awakening, nine steps that encourage healing and connection to our authentic self and potential. Sidra’s live event, ‘The Awakening – Activating the Truth of Who You Are’ has moved thousands of people to create more of what they want in their lives. www.sidrajafrilive.com
Available from Watkins Publishing