Valentine’s Day is a tricky holiday. For starters, its origin is somewhat disputed, and often not even considered in its celebration. It has become more of an excuse to have a romantic outing with your partner, or in many cases, watch a movie on the couch and eat a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It is ironic to use the word “romantic” when describing the day considering that in one of the stories about St. Valentine, he helped Christians escape from “Roman” prisons.
This is my first article for public consumption. After being told the topic of the February issue was love, it made me chuckle. There is no better way to come out of the gate writing publically than to talk about the most complicated personal issue on the planet. While considering what to write about, my ideas became more cliché by the minute, the moral at the end, increasingly predictable. Then I reflected on the longest relationship I’ve ever been in. It’s been 26 years of ups and downs, triumphs and defeats, joys and woe. This is the relationship I’ve had with myself.
To be in any positive, healthy relationship with another person, you must have a strong relationship with yourself. With all the technology at our fingertips, forgetting to have quiet time to contemplate life is easy, and admittedly, I am guilty, too. With a seemingly endless supply of funny BuzzFeed articles and hilarious GIF images, there’s always a great excuse to become distracted from your innermost feelings.
Positive self-esteem is incredibly important in daily life. Whether it’s personally, socially, professionally, scholastically, or any other “ally,” healthy esteem can improve your success. By carefully identifying weaknesses, confronting them, dealing with them, and getting past them, you can cease to limit the natural potential you were born with. This may be difficult at first, but fake it until you make it. When you can move beyond yourself, you become more equipped to help others and make a giant leap toward self-actualization.
It seems fairly evident in stories I’ve heard, books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen and experiences I’ve had, that helping other people is a major key to true happiness. In order to let yourself openly give to others, it’s essential you have taken the time to tend to your own needs.
This doesn’t mean you have to sit alone in a dimly lit room and read the Hare Krishna while chanting. It just means take a small bit of time each day to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself. We all have weaknesses and imperfections. Noticing them is easy. So is pointing them out in others. Happy people focus on their positive attributes and use any negative feelings to power their success, not inhibit their growth. They seek to identify their personal strengths, and utilize them.
This Valentine’s Day, whether you have a significant other or not, take a second to appreciate this moment, because by the time you finish reading this sentence, the moment will be over. Enjoy each day. Laugh. Seriously, everything is funny. Happy people, with positive self-esteem can laugh at misfortune because they know it’s just the way life is. You win some. You lose some. If you simply have the willingness to look inward, you’re already ahead of the game.
It can be liberating to realize life is about as good as you allow it to be.