Self love is more than indulging in peaceful days and tangible self-care rituals. Self love allows us to face our fears, learn what holds us back and work with our darkest thoughts that can be a predecessor to negative behaviors. Self love allows us to get to the core of these behaviors and issues before it blindsides us into living our worst lives. If we’re already stuck in a rut, it allows us to find a crack in the pit of darkness and slowly break free to live a life we may have never known was possible. Starting from Tuesday 14th February, I will be embarking on a 14 day self-love journey. Join me for daily journaling prompts and more.
The price we pay for lack of self love is our lives. Keep reading for a brief outline of what’s to come in the next 2 weeks of our self love journey.
But first, let’s learn about Valentine’s Day.
Learning the history behind Valentines Day took away the gross commercialisation of it. I never understood the point of Valentine’s Day and it seemed odd to have one day to remind yourself to show someone you care. I’m cynical by nature and as a brash teenager it was 100% too mainstream and dumb; this brings me to my tainted relationship with self love. I believed love, of any kind, was shit. I wasn’t worthy of love from myself or anyone else. I was, in a way, proud of hating myself – I didn’t know at the time that this was how I guarded myself. It didn’t matter where I ended up or how I hurt myself because I deserved it. I deserved to be hated and treated like shit because I was filth. I searched for situations that would continue to make me feel that way, all the while saying to myself “it doesn’t matter what they do or say because I hate myself more”. It was a way for me to get ahead and gain back control of how I treat myself. Instead of learning how to love myself or face the demons that made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be in my own body, telling myself I hated me more than anyone gave me power over malicious intent. It was a nasty cycle that I repeated until a couple of years ago.
If you resonate with any of this, I want you to know that you are deserving of love. If that gave you a visceral reaction, that’s a pretty good sign you need to start slow. Take it day by day and fight the words in your head saying you don’t deserve to be here. Join me on this 14 day self love journey to learn how to be comfortable with you.
So, let’s learn a little bit about the origin of Valentines Day before it turned into the commercialised day of love bombing and insane expectations.
Valentines Day: The Origin
Although named after a Christian Saint by the Roman Catholic Church, ‘Valentines Day’ originated as The Feast of Saint Valentine to celebrate a Christian Martyr and suppress an ancient Pagan Roman festival. This festival being Lupercalia which was celebrated in honor of the God of Fertility known as Lupercus or Faunus. Lupercalia celebrated the coming of Spring (not to be mistaken with Spring Equinox).
Lupercalia was annually celebrated on February 15th to purify the city, promote health and fertility. In the Roman calendar, February is sacred to Juno or Februa who is the Roman goddess of fever, love, marriage and women.
Valentines Day is named after the Christian Martyr, Valentinus of Terni, who was executed on 14th February 269 CE for practicing Christianity and marrying young couples at a time when both were banned. Claudius II banned marriage in an attempt to increase the number of soldiers in the Roman army. At that time only single or unmarried men were able to enter the army and it was believed men were getting married to avoid being drafted to the army.
Valentinus of Terni is said to have worn a ring with an engraving of Cupid (the son of Venus and Eros); this made him recognizable to couples marrying in secret but also to the soldiers that were after him. During Valentinus of Terni’s imprisonment, he was inundated with letters and visits from young couples that wrote to him about the importance of love over war. It is said that he fell in love with a jailer’s daughter whom he would write letters to. On the day of his execution on 14th February, he signed off his letter with “From your Valentine”.
Fast forward a few centuries after Emperor Theodosius ruled Christianity as the official religion of Rome in 390 CE and we get to Pope Gelasius who was the Bishop of Rome in 492 CE. Pope Gelasius is the reason we celebrate Valentines Day on February 14th. He successfully suppressed the Festival of Lupercalia as it opposed the Holy views by openly celebrating other gods with displays of sensuality and eroticism. He granted Valentinus of Terni with the title of Saint Valentine establishing February 14th 496 CE as the day of The Feast of Saint Valentine.
How did I start my self love journey?
Drawing and writing. It was the only way I could hear or see myself when I was overwhelmed with voices, thoughts and images. Drawing and writing helped me physically process intangible thoughts and emotions that I thought I had no control over. Over the next 2 weeks I’ll be taking it slow and steady. Join me on this 14 day journey to self love. If at any point you feel like you’ve gone too far too quickly, that’s okay. Take it back a day and repeat those actions. All you need is you.
Here’s a very brief sneak peak of what we’ll be diving into over the 2 weeks. Get on it, sign up to my newsletter.
If you missed the date, don’t fret! You’re still able to take part in the 14 Day Self Love Journey because there’s no better time to start than now.
You’ll get morning + evening journal prompts, a physical mindfulness exercise and more with daily reminders. If things get a little tough, take a break and repeat the tasks from the previous day. This is about you and only you. A little self love goes a long way. These tools and lessons will be with you for the rest of your life.
Did I mention it’s completely free? What have you got to lose?
Day 1: Journal
Day 2: Let light in
Day 3: Cleanse
Day 4: Soften
Day 5: Exfoliate
Day 6: Tone
Day 7: Reflect
Day 8: Nourish
Day 9: Abhyanga
Day 10: Move
Day 11: Limitless
Day 12: Renew
Day 13: Strengthen
Day 14: Honour + Celebrate