It’s February, the season of love! Do you remember when you were in grade school and Valentine’s Day was coming up? You asked your parents for those cheap boxes of Valentine’s Day candy and exchange cards. My favorite exchange cards were the SpongeBob Squarepants ones that came with tattoo lollipops because I thought that was the coolest thing in the world at the age of six. I remember growing up, you got to give candy and exchange cards with anyone you liked as a friend or a crush. Then all that changed, and you had to give every kid something and not leave anyone out. The saying was if you bring something in for one person, you must bring something for everyone else. As a kid, I never really understood what that meant. 

As we grew up, Valentine’s Day was about giving people gifts and making others happy. A tradition in my family is that my mom creates a small Valentine’s Day gift for me. She has been doing this for as long as I can remember. Even when I was away at college, she sent me one all four years. People assume this holiday is about love from a significant other. Still, I learned it’s about your family and, most important, yourself. 

Loving yourself is very important; you have probably been told this. I know you think this blog will be the same thing you’ve heard that loving yourself is excellent for your physical and mental health. Yes, it is helpful for your physical and mental health, but there is more to self-love that you might not know. 

When I hear “self-love,” I automatically think about how you are supposed to love your body for what it is and love who you are. You can say that you love everything about yourself, but do you genuinely love yourself deep down. We all have insecurities, which can be physical or mental. I learned that insecurities are part of my life, and I have to accept them for what they are. But I am not gonna change them because they are part of who I am. I learned to grow with my insecurities. Loving yourself is about accepting yourself for the better and growing yourself daily. Self-love should be about knowing who you are and what person you want to be.

 I encourage you to consider who you are and what part of your life you want to grow. There are many opportunities that you can grow within yourself. Some of these opportunities are by looking at yourself in a mirror and saying that you are more significant than the insecurities and that they are what makes you beautiful. Being beautiful doesn’t mean looking like a model. Being beautiful means how you see yourself. I define beauty as a natural look, no makeup, and not pretending to be someone you are not. Beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors, but that should not cause us to change to be like everyone else because we are not. Every individual is different, unique, and beautiful. You are beautiful not because I am telling you but because deep down inside, you know you are gorgeous and amazing at the same time. 

Believe in Yourself, and Keep Being Unique!