Maybe this season is about you. 

Valentine’s Day is a popular occasion where we as a society all come together to remind everyone of our love for one another. It’s an occasion to spoil our loved ones and romanticize our lives. All in all, Valentine’s Day is just a motif. Society designs itself with hearts, flowers, cupid and love notes — all items we are encouraged to buy and share with the people we love. But I wonder, how many of these occasions do we take to show ourselves the same form of love and gratitude? 

This isn’t meant to be a sappy, woke article on all the ways we should love ourselves. This article is just a gentle reminder that on the most extravagant day of love, we should show love to ourselves too. In fact, expressing love for ourselves shouldn’t be limited to a day. It should be a lifestyle. I think we need to remind ourselves on a daily basis that we have more power and say in who we are.

It’s hard to love yourself when society tells you all the reasons not to. Society often forces us into neat little boxes that limit our power and diminish our voices. By organizing ourselves into boxes, it makes it easier to compare ourselves with others. But the truth is, you have the power. You are your own unique person. Stop letting societal standards define your value and let yourself believe in your own merit. Give yourself the same kind of love, understanding, patience and kindness that you give others — because you deserve it. 

It’s okay if you need time to learn how to love yourself. It’s okay if you aren’t ready for that journey. It’s okay to be scared. Learning to love yourself means learning to be your own friend. It means learning to be your own saviour. It means acceptance. Forgiveness. Love. You don’t need to have it all figured out. Let yourself make mistakes. Find a way to love the best and worst versions of yourself. 

Quick disclaimer, I don’t have all of this figured out either. With that said, when Valentine’s Day comes, I’ll be buying myself a bundle of roses, making heart-shaped pizzas, and gorging on chocolate. I deserve it. So do you.

Maybe this year, we can choose to love ourselves.

Hiba Faisal is a fourth-year student at University College double majoring in English and political science and minoring in history.