Some Thoughts On Self Love

Hello my beautiful friends + happy February!

January has been a month of setting intentions and aligning myself with the goals I have for my life. Living intentionally and mindfully has become more and more of a priority for me, and in doing so, I’ve been able to be more discerning about what I allow into my life and what I’m okay parting ways with. I’ve become better at saying no. I’ve made physical health a priority in my life and I’ve noticed changes beyond my body, but rather in my mental state and energy levels. I’ve made myself a priority in more ways than one, and I watched how my relationship with myself has changed over the past couple of months.

February is coined the month of love, and I’m here for it. I’m a sucker for romance, adventure and spontaneity. I love hearing about how people met and fell in love. When I think of love, however, I also think outside of the spectrum of romance and feel it in a good song, in driving with the windows down and feeling the warm air on my skin, in the hug of a child, in reading something that shifts my worldview, coffee with a friend, walking to the market on a Saturday morning. I find love in the mundane moments, and it fills me.

As of late, however, I’ve come to know a different kind of love — self love. You’ve probably read hundreds of blog posts about it already and have seen what everyone’s bathtub looks like, so I won’t bore you with those details. For me self love was never about baths and face masks, although I do enjoy them. It was about developing a relationship with myself and investing into myself – time, money and emotions – the way I would into my husband or any other relationship in my life.

It felt strange at first. I grew up in post-communist Romania and was raised by a single mother. Self love didn’t exist where I come from. Love, I was taught, was about sacrifice and making others a priority. Making sure everyone else was happy and their needs were met. The idea of “self” was never in question. It’s something I had to work through and change the narrative, reminding myself that I live in a different time and place now, and that in order to love others well, I need to be full of love myself. After all, how you treat yourself influences how you will treat others in your life.

When I meet a friend for coffee or run into somebody I know I’m often asked “how are you and Alex?”. What nobody thinks to ask – and the more worthwhile question – is “how is your relationship with yourself?”. In other words, how have you grown? What have you done to better yourself emotionally and mentally? What are you reading lately? What crosses your mind that surprises you? I encourage you to ask someone that, and see how their face lights up.

Self love is about much more than the exterior treatment, it’s about a deeply rooted practice to spend time with yourself, get to know yourself, and find areas of your life where you can be better. More patient. More compassionate. More kind. Read more. Go for a walk with your dog. Call your mother. Water the plants – watch them grow. Write down your thoughts and explore them. Don’t just stop at the first level of consciousness but dig deeper and ask the difficult questions. “Why does this make me feel this way?” or “why did I react this way?”.

The real act of self love is the one that forces you to be introspective and find areas to water and watch grow.

This month on the blog I’ll be exploring love and relationships more deeply. I will share more about my marriage with Alex, as we celebrate 3 years together and I will share more about my love for travel and adventure (hint: Lancaster trip!). What’s important to remember, throughout the entire month of February (and beyond), is that love starts with you. If you have a healthy relationship with yourself, you’ll infuse it into other areas of your life as well.

I wish you all of the love, light and happiness you can contain, and I encourage you to make room in your life for yourself. Make space. Even if it is 20 minutes or a walk around the block. Mark it out as your own and delight in it.

Until next time,

Vanda