With February 14th a few days away, I know that most people are writing about how to celebrate your loved ones for Valentine's Day. Although I am a big believer in celebrating love, spoiling your loved ones, and grand romantic gestures, lately I have been thinking about the phrase "Love is about letting go" and dwelling in the question
"Who should you be cutting out of your life this Valentine's Day?"
We all know that the greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of self-love. I also know from my own experience and watching thousands of others that the amount that you can truly love and open your heart to others is dependent on the amount you can love and open your heart to yourself. However, most of us are trained to look for love from outside of ourselves. We work tirelessly to get others to love us. We step outside of our integrity and tolerate the intolerable from others. We whittle away our self-esteem and give up our power, waiting for others to love or acknowledge us. Our feelings of self-love are determined by our outer accomplishments, level of success, or ability to make others love and affirm us. Although our achievements and expressions of affection from others do feel good, they are illusory since whenever we are looking for others to love us or anything in the outer world to validate us or fill us up, then we truly are "looking for love in all the wrong places!"
Self-love is an inside job! It comes from owning and embracing all of the different parts of yourself, your dark and your light, and finding the perfection of your "imperfections." It comes from developing a mature relationship with and having access to the full spectrum of your emotions so you can live with authentic aliveness and be your fullest expression of self. It comes from finding the wisdom in your wounds and the gift in every experience so you no longer need to wish your past was different, beat yourself up, or engage in your preferred method of self-sabotage.
Self-love comes from continuously looking inside, checking in with yourself about how you are feeling and what your soul needs in that moment, and making choices that are in alignment with the whispers of your soul. In those moments of reflection and acknowledgment, you are standing in your worthiness and making a declaration to the Universe that you feel deserving enough and love yourself enough to make high-level choices. Sometimes those choices will involve showering yourself with more -- more things, experiences, and people. Other times those choices will involve letting go -- letting go of the circumstances, material possessions, and people in your life that no longer feed your internal flame.
We all have people in our lives who trigger us, suck our energy, make us feel uncomfortable, are not healthy for us, or are just not that fun to be around. Now of course, if I am standing in the tenets of shadow work, it is important not to discard these people without reflection and to recognize that they are in our lives to show us ourselves. They are in our lives to serve as mirrors, point out our projections, and rip off the band-aids that are covering our wounds so we can go to that next level of self-realization and healing. Yet sometimes, even after you have done all your work and dug deep to unconceal all the gifts that person has come into your life to deliver, the most important and loving thing that you can do for yourself might be to let that person go. Letting a person go may mean cutting them out of your life completely or it may be creating some space and boundaries. Letting a person go does not mean that they are "bad" or "wrong." It just means that they might not be the best person to have in your life at this time. Letting a person go does not need to be dramatic, divisive, or done with anger. Instead it can be an act of love, acknowledging the role they have played and the lessons you have learned as a result of their presence in your life. It is actually best to bless them and let them go. And finally, letting a person go does not mean that you have or need to stop loving that person. You can love someone and let them go - it is just that you are ready to love yourself more!
Bottom line, letting people go is often one of the most loving things you can do for yourself. It is a proclamation of how you will protect your energy, a notification of how you will nurture and nourish your soul, and a declaration of what you feel deserving of.
So as Valentine's Day approaches and you are thinking about who to buy cards for, send flowers to, or how you can spoil that special someone, remember the most special someone is you! Start becoming present to the people in your life who you might need to let go of or redefine your relationship. The good news is that when you clear your space out of whatever and whoever does not serve your highest, you make space for more of what does...and that will make for a truly yummy Valentine's Day!
Transformational Action Steps
1. Start becoming present to the relationships in your life. How do you feel when you interact with certain people? Who sucks your energy? Who feeds you flame? Take time to really notice it.
2. Do your own work around the people who trigger you so you can get the gifts or what they are in your life to show or teach you.
3. After you have done your work, if you find that there are people who don't serve your highest, start asking yourself, "Who do I need to let go of or create some sort of boundaries with?"