[Posted on Valentine’s Day] Today the world is celebrating Valentines Day (also known as “Singles Awareness Day.”) There’s a lot of talk of lovers loving together in a warm cocoon of lovely love … almost nauseating, huh? If you happen to be single on this day of love (with herpes to boot), it might feel like a cold, lonely day — like the day itself is rubbing your face in your unfortunate singlehood. At first blush, herpes and love might seem to be mutually exclusive: one wipes out the other. But that’s simply not a fair way to look at it when you just want to be happy. Let’s look at how we can turn this beloved holiday into a positive, shall we?

“Self-love is to know that you are completely loved and completely lovable. Upon observing your understanding of your own self-worth, the world mirrors that knowing back to you … Love is attention without judgment.” (Chopra)

This holiday has been billed as a day specifically for couples love. Why so greedy? Why do couples get it all? You can still celebrate it as a day of love: Loving yourself … and you don’t have to be corny about it (unless corny works for you). How has your relationship to yourself been with herpes? For many people I talk with, their default mode is self-judgment, self-criticism, shame and blame. If you can relate to that at all, then maybe self-love can simply mean you get to give yourself a break! Tomorrow you can get back to beating yourself up if you really want to. But today, you put down the flog, regardless about whatever stage of the herpes healing process you are in. Today is all about compassion for yourself.

A post on herpes forum speaks to this unfortunate way we tend to treat ourselves: “And then I thought about me: How could I have such compassion for [someone else with herpes] and be so mean to myself for years about the same exact condition? I would never be mean to anyone in the real world like I was to myself … the horrible self-messages I sent to myself. Reading [another person’s] story (and others) remind me where I need to show compassion to myself and how to soften my self-judgment into a greater kindness.”

Deepak Chopra says on his guided meditation for attracting and being in love (video embedded below), “Self-love is to know that you are completely loved and completely lovable. Upon observing your understanding of your own self-worth, the world mirrors that knowing back to you.” Cool, huh? It’s a fancy way of saying that you can’t be fully loved by another until you fully love yourself. Love yourself as you are. Not as you should be. Not as you wish you were. Not as you eventually will be. Love yourself as you are. Right now. Everything. The good, the bad, and everything in between is loved. Because, after all, in the absence of judgment, everything simply is. “Love is attention without judgment.” Wow.

Love and compassion for yourself means first noticing how you treat yourself to begin with. Only things that you are aware of do you have choice about. If your self-criticism and self-judgment stays under the radar of the conscious mind, then you have no choice: The self-masochism continues. However, the moment you notice those abusive voices in your head, you then have the choice to not treat yourself that way. Self-compassion leads to more self-compassion. And a hint right off the bat: Once you notice yourself beating yourself up, don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up. Naughty, naughty!

And self-love doesn’t necessarily mean forcing yourself to be happy. It’s all about meeting yourself where you are right now. It means being authentic. No forcing, no trickery. Happiness will come naturally. Sadness will, too. What do you need today to take care of yourself? It might be a bubble bath or it might be a 20-minute walk to clear your head. It might mean going to bed early. But be true to yourself. So here’s to you. And to real, deep, true love. The love you have for yourself. Because once you learn to love yourself fully, then that can overflow into one of those nauseously ooey-gooey romantic relationships. *Wink*

herpes forum

Incoming search terms for the article: