While many of us spent today shopping for cards, chocolates, and flowers in preparation for Valentine’s Day, I spent part of the afternoon learning how to better care for myself. Today is Madly In Love With Me Day, a day dedicated to teaching people, particularly women, the importance of knowing and loving yourself. Founded by Christine Arylo, www.madlyinlovewithme.com offers resources to take you on the journey of beginning the life-long process of falling in love with yourself each and every day.
It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that you have to love yourself before someone else can love you too. I agree that, in order to be open to unconditional love from others, you really do need to acknowledge that you’re worthy and deserving of love — and that love can come from yourself. I’ve always had a lot of self-esteem. I was blessed with parents that raised me to believe I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. The goals I have set-aside have always been terminated by choice, and never because I didn’t think I was capable. Until today though, I had never given much thought to the difference between self-esteem and self-love. Arylo sums it up by explaining that self-esteem is knowing that you can DO anything, but self-love is “the unconditional love and respect you have for yourself that is so deep, solid, and unwavering that you only choose situations and relationships — including the one with yourself — that reflect the same unconditional love and respect.”
This afternoon I downloaded the Madly In Love With Me virtual Self-Love kit that describes this difference between self-love and self-esteem and charts a course of five different self-love gates to concentrate on during your self-love journey. The gates outline goals like knowing yourself and your dreams, taking part in healthy relationships, loving your body, being kind to yourself, and living a self-sustainable life. Along with a few other ideas for exercises and spreading the message of self-love, the manifesto also suggests that each reader choose a gate to work on over the next year.