Creating for self-love
The month of LOVE is here. We get bombarded with how to show your love to someone else (usually in the form of material things). We feel guilt over giving, stress over if we are doing enough and then look around to see if anyone loves us back the way we want. We can quickly go down the path of feeling left out, not enough, undervalued all because of a month geared toward driving sales of flowers and chocolates.
Don't get me wrong, I love Valentine's Day. I love any chance to smother my children in gushy love stickers and heart shaped... everything. And I LOVE chocolate.
Are you familiar with the love languages? It is the 5 ways people prefer to receive and give love and how they recognize it best. Research your own if you haven't heard of it before. Let's face it, unless we are all very emotionally intelligent we probably aren't giving or receiving the way we really prefer. We can still leave the Valentine's table draped in diamonds and flower wreaths and still feel like the other person just isn't getting it.
I'm not here to hate on the holiday. I'm here to give you some colorful ways to shine this spotlight of love back on yourself. When it comes right down to it, love doesn't come from someone else. It has to come from inside yourself.
Sure, when someone professes their love for us we feel that love. It makes us feel all warm and tingly but when you look at where that feeling comes from it is actually a reaction inside ourselves to being seen, cared for and valued. That other person can't reach in your heart and tingle it for you. When we leave it up to someone else to instill that feeling we also leave it open to them to take it away. So lets accept that love when it is given but learn to give it to ourselves too so it never has to leave.
I did a creative exercise focused on giving myself what I need to feel loved.
I did not know what that meant or looked like when I sat down with my paints but here is what I gave myself.
1. I gave myself some space and time for focusing only on me.
2. I started with intending to show myself some love, however that might look.
3. I used the supplies that make me happy.
4. I used PLAY to let it unfold how it needed to.
There is no right or wrong here. We all have our own love languages, needs and joys. So be open to what it might be for you.
This is how it unfolded for me...
I loved just slowly putting the paint on in whatever way felt easy at the time. I just gently spread it around without worrying about how it was changing the painting.
I had my inner critic flare up and tell me how clown-ish this painting looks and it doesn't go with anything I've done, people won't be drawn to it... yadda yadda. I kept going and when I'd had my fill of painting I just felt relaxed.
The way I showed some love to me was just being slow and present to what I was doing and just feeling the paint under my brush. I don't need to be, create, or do anything to feel good within myself and taking this time to paint I got a first hand experience of that. I hope you do too!