Love, Mandi

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time that reminds me of huggable bears, heavenly chocolate, beautiful roses, and bright pink-and-red balloons.

It’s a time when we as youngsters crafted ingenious boxes and exchanged store-bought valentine cards with glittery pictures of our favorite cartoon characters.

It’s the day when I can expect a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the first man in my life: my one and only Daddy.


I’m all about Valentine’s Day! I’m all about celebrating romance, candlelight, and heartfelt gestures.

Yet, this year, Valentine’s Day seems to have a new feel to it.

This year, I am focusing even more on the one love that seems to be in the needing-improvement pile of stuff-to-do in the back of my head: the love I show toward myself.


Over the past week, I’ve realized the necessity for self-care in my current day-to-day life. I’ve roped myself forcibly into completing assignment after assignment, in hopes that the more I do the better I will feel. And, in some ways, the sense of accomplishment does feel rather great.

However, when you find yourself ignoring your body’s desperate pleas to literally SIT DOWN for a moment, you realize that something is amiss.

I want the inside of my head to be a lovely, joyful, inspiring place to be. I want my mind to be full of creativity, laughter, and imagination.

Yet, right now, my head feels consumed with to-do lists, ever-raising expectations, and restlessness.

Inside my head is not a very happy place to be right now.

I would love to change that.

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One idea taken from an article I read recently for a class has really stuck with me this week: “The joy of [life] comes from the love of it.”

If I want joy, I have to pursue love. I have to find it, even if it is buried mile-deep underneath countless pressures and commands.

My slave-driver inner-critic has had her reign for a while now, and I think it’s high time that I start a rebellion. This rebellion comes, for me, in the form of self-care.

If you’re like me, thinking about doing things for yourself seems like a big fat waste of valuable productive time. Yet, this is EXACTLY why I need to make it a priority.

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Here are some ideas that I am working on at the moment to give myself a little more love:

Notice when I do something well, and give myself a hearty “Good Job!”

Pay attention to my body– when I’m tired, I can gracefully invite myself to enjoy a moment’s rest.

Continue to fuel myself with good foods, good words, good company, and good sleep.

Treat myself like a beloved child who needs to be cared for– as one of my favorite bloggers suggests.


Hardest of all, I will attempt to see myself through the eyes of love. I will try to see myself as my own best friend. I will try to see myself through the eyes of the one who loves me unconditionally.

If I can manage to get there, I will hopefully experience a bit more joy and a lot more love in my everyday life.

I hope you will join me on this quest for giving love to the one in your life who possibly needs it the most!

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Happy Valentine’s Day, from me and my friend the massively fuzzy valentine’s caterpillar! <3

“You are nature. You are already perfect, peaceful, and powerful. You don’t need to become anything. You simply need to remember yourself.”
Vironika Tugaleva


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