passion, self-acceptance, self-love, wholeness, worthiness

Be Your Valentine: The Bad-Ass Brazen Art of Self-Devotion

de·vo·tion [dih-voh-shuhn] noun

1. profound dedication; consecration.
2. earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
3. strong attachment (to) or affection (for a cause, person, etc) marked by dedicated loyalty.

Devotion is my new favorite word. Not only do I love the way it sounds… delightful… divine… devotion. I love what it means.

What are you devoted to?

These days, I’m cultivating a sweet self-devotion. Which turns the definition into THIS:

self-devotion [self-dih-voh-shuhn] noun

1. profound dedication to me; consecration to myself
2. earnest attachment to moi
3. strong attachment (to) or affection (for a cause, person, etc) marked by dedicated loyalty to my own self!

YEAAAH, that’s what I’m talking about.

What does that mean for me? What are the implications of this commitment? Well, there are many. New ones pop up daily, in fact.

Today, self-devotion means…

– listening to my body when this head cold has knocked me down for a rest
– checking in to see what I really want to do, eat, drink.
– napping because that’s what I need
– clearing my schedule as an act of self-care, in spite of that critical voice that says I could not/should not do so.
– pajamas, all day long.

Other days it’s much more serious, and more difficult, uncomfortable, vulnerable:

– standing up for myself when I feel disrespected by a peer
– expressing an unspoken insecurity to my partner
– refusing to be mistreated by a cranky cashier

Now, more than ever, I am realizing how every choice I make is either an act of self-devotion, or it is not. It either helps me feel lighter, or creates a sense of heaviness. It either feels like love or feels like fear.

Wanting to devote to yourself? Here’s the interesting thing. You don’t have to feel any certain “preliminary” way toward yourself to act in devoted ways. In fact, the decision to devote to yourself is followed by actions and choices, and those actions and choices create profound self-love.

Self-devotion cultivates trust, and with devoted practice, a sweet and romantic, everlasting loyalty and kindness to oneself will blossom.

Keep in mind, self-devotion is an act of audacity. A bold and brazen promise to yourself, to dote on yourself, to spoil yourself with lavish attention and affection.

Are your choices today a reflection of someone who is devoted to herself? And if they are not, can you start now? What one loving choice can you make as an act of self-devotion?

This Valentine’s Day, first and foremost, be your own Valentine, always and forever, for better or for worse.

After all, lovers come and lovers go, but you… you will always have you.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
– Buddha

Originally published February 2013.

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