Celebrate Love This February. Specifically, Choose to Focus on What You Love About Yourself

By Natalie Caine, M.A.
NABBW’s Empty Nest Expert

Focus is important.

I enjoy choosing a focus for each month. With February around the corner, it is natural to choose to focus on love. It\’s always a great focus.

But for today, let\’s not focus on ludus, or eros, which are the Greek terms for romantic and sexual love. And let\’s not talk about agape, either. That\’s the Greek term for family love.

Instead, let\’s focus on self-love.

But before you start thinking I\’m recommending self-obsession, remember those clever Greeks actually recognized two types of self love.

  • Probably the one most people know today is the unhealthy variety of self love, associated with narcissism. That\’s where you became self-obsessed and focused on personal fame and fortune.
  • But according to the Greeks, there\’s a healthier version of self love, which is what I am advocating today. They called it philautia. And according to those ancient Greeks,  once you have this kind of self love in place, it enhances your wider capacity to love others.

In other words, if you like yourself and feel secure in yourself, you then have plenty of love to give others. Or as Aristotle put it, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man\’s feelings for himself.”

So: What do you love about YOUR life today?
  • Is it the SMILE you give to others?
  • Your ease at SHIFTING when you have a disappointment?
  • Is it your CURIOSITY that keeps you moving forward, rather than whirling about the past?

Or something else?

What is it you love about YOU?

Think about that and begin a list.
  • What is it you love about someone in your life?
  • What do you love about your creativity or career?
  • Your wellness practices?
  • Your devotion to….?
Choose to focus on the POSITIVE in February.

Begin with a notebook that you keep on your bed stand.  Just jot down a few words before you fall asleep. What I love about (fill in the blank)  is (fill in the blank).

It is really fun at the end of the month to read over your notes. It\’s like a love LETTER to yourself for a whole month.

What you love helps you continue that behavior and helps you make new CHOICES of what you want and don\’t want in your life. Sounds simple, and yet, you forget that happiness is a magnet for more happiness.

Ocean_Sunrise_0936BEGIN something to focus on in the month of February around the word LOVE.

Give it light, like the LIGHT of this sunrise photo I shot in Palos Verdes, Ca.

Focus on YOU and what you love about your life.

You have many different PARTS to you: the wise one, the creative, the problem solver, the forgiver, the cook, the athlete, the curious, the leader, the organizer, the meditator, etc.  What do you LOVE ABOUT YOUR LIFE TODAY?

Start your journal and have fun with it.

DOODLE in it, one night write some words of love using your NON-DOMINATE hand, (I am a lefty, so for fun , I write with my right hand), close your eyes and HEAR what people have said about you that made you smile, what do you do DAILY that you would be sad to not be able to do?

Happy focusing on love,

Natalie

Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What\’s Next?
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040
Los Angeles

Natalie Caine is the founder of Empty Nest Support Services. When her daughter was a senior in high school, she realized that as a soon-to-be “empty nester,” she would be undergoing a major life shift. Not wanting to confront this transition alone nor have her many friends face this abyss without strong support, she created a support services group, which quickly grew into a new career and an exciting full-time business.