To me, these days my own self love comes from caring for myself and appreciating myself as I am rather than how others want me to be.
Having spent most of my life trying to be how others wanted me to be this was a difficult change in mindset for me to undo a lifetime chameleon habit.
I suppose not having felt loved by my immediate family as a child it was not easy to see myself as lovable. Not that I remember trying, I was too busy trying to please others.
Luckily I had a couple of loving people in my childhood, my grandfather and also our next door neighbours, Auntie Hilda and Uncle Charlie (no relation, but adopted aunt and uncle.) Grandpa lived a fair few miles a way, too far for a young child to venture on her own, so it was Auntie Hilda and Uncle Charlie who showed me unconditional love most of all. I used to escape there frequently and will forever be grateful.
Being aware that love is infinite, I always found it easy to show love towards others by caring, appreciating and helping them as and when I can. It never occurred to me to show the same love towards myself until I was well into my Gupta amygdala retraining, and I realized that my infinite supply of love could do with being shared with myself as well as directed towards others.
As I Gupta’d I became more contented with myself and my situation.
As I recovered from the CFS/Fibro/MCS etc. I found that I quite liked myself but not with arrogance or pride, just acceptance of who I really am.
So my journey towards self love was begun by my starting to recovery from chronic illness which had lasted many years. As I became more content I found I was liking who I am, not who I was trying to be. I was no longer trying to be anyone else except myself as I really am.
Some people had often said nice things to me, but as that was while I was chameleon-ing my way through life, I hardly ever felt I deserved the nice things they said. It was the character I was playing, not myself.
Now when someone says something lovely to me I can accept it, pragmatically and without needing to buy a bigger hat, just because my own self awareness and love knows they mean it and it was really me who they were talking to, not me acting a role to please them.
I am not planning on sending myself a Valentine’s card, the anonymity wouldn’t work, and it would be a bit strange as my self love is not romantic towards me, but is a deep and lasting contentment with who I am.
Love really is infinite, so it isn’t ‘wasting’ it to apply it to ourselves as we really are. There is still an infinite amount of our love left for everyone and everything else and always will be.