It is November 8th, and the holiday season is in full swing.
People have started decorating a little too prematurely for Christmas. We're starting to hear Christmas music play in restaurants and stores. Starbucks finally launched its holiday season specials. People are busy decorating, getting in the festive spirit, and sipping their oh-so-sweet holiday drinks that only come around once a year.
Despite the joyfulness and festivities, many people might find themselves discouraged this time of year.
People who are in a season of singleness might be especially discouraged. I know first hand that not being in a relationship can be hard, especially this time of year. Everything is so romantic with all of the holiday lights, ice-skating, and Christmas tree decorations.
Not having someone to call your own can get in the way of the holiday spirit.
I know. For the longest time, I wrapped my identity in not being in a relationship. I would feel incredible about myself if anyone would give me the light of day and feel awful about myself if that boy that I had a crush on didn't like me back.
I let the fact that I was single distract me from the many blessings that I already have.
But, I want to let you know what I have learned from this elongated season of singleness. I learned that my family, friends, and people love me and care for me exactly how I am. I learned that I am gifted with the ability to help my loved ones through hard times and situations because I can relate to them.
The most important thing that I've learned is to love myself.
My God made me in His image, which is holy and perfect. He, the most majestic and Holy King, loves me in all of my brokenness. He loves me in all of my singleness, so why can't I love myself? I know it is not as easy as that previous sentence makes it sound. Not at all.
I have been on this journey of learning how to love myself for years. Even if you aren't a Christ-follower or you have a completely different belief than mine, I know how hard it is. Self-love is extremely difficult to learn and understand. It definitely doesn't come overnight.
In order to be ready for a relationship, you have to be in a relationship with yourself first.
You have to learn what you don't like about yourself, which should be easy because we are our own worst critics. We also have to learn what we love about ourselves, which many of us can find that just a tad bit more difficult. Before we become fully and wholly confident in the person that we are and that we are changing into, we cannot give love to those around us at the full capacity which we are able to.
If you are single this holiday season, heartbroken from a breakup, or hurt from rejection, I want to challenge you personally. I want to challenge you to have a relationship with yourself. Make loving yourself a priority.
Take yourself out to ice cream, get a latte from Starbucks, and splurge on yourself like you would for a significant other.
Hang out with your friends and family who make you know your worth. You are so worth it. Enjoy your freedom. Enjoy loving yourself. Life will be so much brighter, and the holiday cheer will be so much easier to find. Love yourself. You are loved.