When we think about love and how it connects to our personal well-being, there are strong indicators that suggest it is better to love than to not love. For one, love from another creates feelings of safety and security. It also provides an opportunity for connection and intimacy – core human needs.

However, many of us also look to external love and romantic relationships for other needs such as, validation and self-worth. External love feels good; there is no doubt about that. The question is, can you achieve self-worth from external love or is it an illusion? Many of us try.

Self-love is not innate

Self-love is something we learn to do. The absence of self-love can be a result of life circumstance that left an internal void or even a chemical imbalance that makes it difficult for us to see our value as others can. Regardless of the reason, self-love is the most significant love we will experience in our lives. It can also be the most challenging.

Did you know that February is International Boost Self-Esteem Month? What a perfect time to start focusing on yourself! This year, you even get the bonus of an additional day to spend learning to love yourself more.

Without self-love, we find ourselves in quite the predicament

We may seek romantic relationships to fill the emptiness, but without self-love, external relationships are usually unfulfilling. In some cases, relationships fall short because we may expect more than our partner can reasonably give. In other scenarios, we may believe we are undeserving of the kind of relationship we want and tolerate a less than ideal partner.

So there lies the holy grail of achieving real love; self-love is the conduit for deep and meaningful loving relationships with others, but we so often put the cart before the horse. If we can spend as much time appreciating our qualities and placing value on ourselves, finding a mate is the easy part.

This Valentine’s Day, as you’re celebrating or evaluating your relationship status, take the time to do the same with the most important relationship of all – the one you have with yourself.

Love,

Erika’s Lighthouse

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