On this Valentine's Day, try being nice to yourself. Really!
It'll be funny, of course, if we start sending ourselves digital greetings and WhatsApp forwards.
It's a weird thing to say, isn't it? Be nice to yourself, and that too on the day dedicated to celebrating love and intimate relationships. Yet, it is one of the most bitter contradictions of modern life. We don't seem to appreciate ourselves as much as we ought to. Society has conditioned us (justifiably so) to celebrate affinity and kinship, to send messages of love and recognition to special ones - mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, siblings, friends, and of course spouses/partners - at least on occasions earmarked to do so. But while sanctifying this abundance of relationships, we somehow tend to ignore ourselves. We're not taught self-compassion early enough in life. We're not told, not often enough in any case, that happiness emanates from self-confidence.
It'll be funny, of course, if we start sending ourselves digital greetings and WhatsApp forwards about how we hold a special position in our own lives and that the sun won't rise and the moon won't either the day we don't think about oneself. Jokes apart, though, there are phases in one's life - the low points, so to say - when we need to deal with ourselves with the same affection and compassion that we'd show others who may be in a situation similar to ours. Faced with a challenge and/or failure, most individuals tend to go too hard on themselves. Unfortunately, excessive self-criticism can do permanent damage.
Make no mistake - self-assessment and criticism are an integral part of an individual's learning and evolution process. And we must do that constantly to evolve as an individual and as a human being. But the is no point in excessively reprimanding oneself or belittling one's efforts for every imperfection or every mistake. No one likes a brash and arrogant person, of course, but there's a world of difference between being modest and being self-deprecating. Aim for excellence by all means, but remember that it is okay to sometimes ignore the imperfections. If you've been hard on yourself lately, this Valentine's Day is just the right time to make amends. Perhaps pamper yourself with a spa treatment or indulge in gourmet double chocolate cake. You'll thank yourself for it.