For most retail stores and card companies, February is the month of love. To the normal population, Valentine’s Day is the one day out of the year where we show those in our lives just how much we love them. Now, if you’re like me, it’s really just another day. But this year was different. No, I didn’t exchange cards or get flowers. Instead, I thought a lot about what that day really meant to me. As a struggling author, every week brings its whole new sets of challenges whether it be financial or an insufferable writer’s block. If I’m really unlucky, I get multiple challenges in one week and they become unbearable. It’s during these times that I’m especially hard on myself thinking I need to do better at writing or beg for more hours at my part-time job. But the truth is, it wouldn’t matter if my writing was better or if I worked 40+ hours a week. Kindness is really what matters, better yet—love matters. Even as I write this, I feel myself cringe a bit for in this past week I can count on one hand the times I’ve been nice to myself. Every artist will tell you, they’re their own worst critic. And it’s so true. I often think that’s because it lessens the blow when others criticize us. We’ve hardened ourselves against harsh words and derogatory comments that we just don’t know how to show love to ourselves. This plays such a huge impact on our minds and emotions that self-criticism can either drive us forward or slam us against the ground. There is a medium that many of us, myself included, fail to meet. And that’s what I learned this month. February isn’t just the month for love, it should be a constant thing in our lives. Showing a little love to ourselves and, yes, a little patience can dramatically turn things around.
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