When I mentioned to my Sunday groups this week that Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite holidays, my high school group looked at me like I had lost my mind. While I am lucky to have my hubby as my date on Valentine’s Day, the holiday represents more than just a romantic kind of love. It’s about a love that we experience everyday called courage.
Dr. Brené Brown says it best in her book The Gifts of Imperfection:
“The original definition of ‘courage’ . . . is from the Latin word ‘cor,’ meaning ‘heart.’ And the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. And so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first, and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly. And the last was they had connection, and—this was the hard part—as a result of authenticity, they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to be who they were, which you have to absolutely do that for connection.”
Ordinary courage based on this definition is the courage to love yourself despite your mistakes and imperfections. Research shows that just the simple act of writing a letter to yourself for 7 days straight can improve both anxiety and depression. It’s not too late to send a Valentine to yourself and the ones you love, thanking yourself for being courageous!