Happy Valentine’s Day, my sweet love.
Valentine’s Day has always been my second favorite day of the year. I’ve had a Valentine, every year, since the second grade. I pass out love notes to strangers, have Galentines dates with my best friends, and decorate my home (my Mama's tradition).
Thanks to the universe, both my sun and Venus are in Scorpio. I am an intense and passionate being. I reek of love. I seek love. I give love. I am love.
There is no coincidence that 9 months after the universal day of love, hundreds of Scorpios are born. Thanks, Universe.
In the midst of the universal day of love, I recognize that everyone may not be in the highest spirits due to their own battle with love. Everyday people reiterate that your relationship with self is the most important. Particularly today, people are reminding the world that self love is the best love. And while this is a mantra that I live by, there was a time when I thought to myself:
“Sounds good but how the HELL do I obtain self love?”
From the day that you’re born, you are clothed in newborn t-shirts that read “I love my Mommy.” You’re taught to love your siblings and cousins. Once you enter grade school, you grow to make friends and love your friends. And then you become a young adult, searching for yourself in a world full of imitation, and everyone looks your way to yell “YOU GOTTA LOVE YOURSELF!”
What I’ve learned thus far:
You cannot obtain self-love without getting to know yourself first. You don’t meet someone for the first time and love them. You learn them. You observe their patterns, likes, dislikes, and the shit that gets on your nerves. I often hear lovers give explanations for their partners’ behavior, “he has trust issues because of experiences from his childhood or previous relationships. Yes, he is controlling or insecure sometimes but we are working through it.” That’s admirable. However, I need you to have that same understanding, compassion, awareness, and patience with yourself. Your relationship with self is long term. You will fall in and out of love with yourself in your darkest moments. It is crucial that you continue to fight for the relationship, whether you are with a partner or single. I am urging you to understand yourself so that you can love yourself.
Learn your triggers
We all have childhood trauma that are the bases of our behaviors and patterns. I’ve worked diligently to walk myself through my childhood and pinpoint experiences or interactions that enticed negative or positive emotions. As an adult, there are certain instances where those emotions are triggered and I am no longer my boisterous 23-year-old self. Have you ever had an encounter or exchange with someone that truly bothered you but you were not able to articulate why to yourself or that individual? When I learned my triggers I became an effective communicator because I knew exactly where those emotions came from. I was able to hold people accountable for their actions and decisions that involved me as well. Additionally, I became more compassionate with myself. I did not create unrealistic expectations for myself because I knew who I was and how I would feel/react in certain situations. For example, due to childhood experiences I tend to feel rejected or unwanted easily by people that I care about. That emotion can either trigger sadness or cause me to completely shut down. There were times where a lover or friend would do something to make me feel unwanted and I didn’t know what to do with that emotion. So I would put that individual on the block list and vow to never talk to them again. Recently, I’ve began journaling about my childhood. I now understand that shutting down and suppressing my feelings are unhealthy coping mechanisms that I adopted to survive. The same coping mechanisms that were used to survive can not be exercised as you are healing. Now, I communicate with people exactly how they’ve made me feel. I found that when I give people the opportunity to discuss how their actions made me feel, we are able to work it out and move forward. Overall, taking the time to understand your triggers will allow you to be an effective communicator to yourself and the people around you.
Learn you in order to love you.
As a visual learner, I need to see my thoughts and ideas in order to bring them to life. My mind, heart, and spirit are cluttered so lists allow me to organize myself. During my journey I made a list of things that makes me happy and a list of activities that I complete on my day-to-day. After comparing the two, you’ll be surprised to find that you aren’t actually living your best life! I learned that out of the 20 things that I loved to do, I was only fulfilling 6! A few of those activities I had on hold because I wanted to experience them with friends or lovers. However, what fulfills you won’t always align with your partners or friends. I challenge you to find what makes you happy and incorporate those activities into your 2018.
Another list included all of my previous partners. I wrote as many details about their childhoods, personalities, and our relationships. What do they all have in common? How did I handle arguments? How did I express my love? I used this as an opportunity to evaluate myself, my actions, and my choices. It opened my eyes to my relationship patterns and the kind of men that I attracted.
The final list consisted of writing what I desired in a partner, friend, and myself. These three categories were important because after investing time with a partner or friend, their energy becomes your energy. I wanted to be sure that moving forward I attracted friends and partners that aligned with the woman that I am working towards becoming. I also use this list to eliminate people from my space. You should have a list of 5 nonnegotiable traits that a potential partner or friend must have. More importantly, you should have a list of 5 traits you must have before allowing someone into your space. These lists are an opportunity for you to get to know yourself, alter them to fit your needs.
Learn you in order to love you.