You’ve Got To Love Yourself First

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many of us have love on our minds. What is love anyway? We all want it. We all look for it. Where is it? We assume that when we “find” love, we’ll finally be happy. But even when we find someone to be in a relationship with, as we all know, this does not mean we are happy all the time. So then what? If we feel unhappy in a relationship, we may want to end that relationship and look for the next person who will finally make us feel happy. And so it goes.

Valentine’s Day perpetuates the misguided notion that we need to find someone to love us or we are not OK, we are not complete, that something is missing. But given the fact mentioned above that a love relationship does not guarantee happiness, what does this all mean? In my path of growth through yoga, I have discovered that all the love we are seeking outside of ourselves is already within us. Right there, inside. And it’s been there all along. But we are so conditioned by society: our family, friends, romantic comedies and holidays such as Valentine’s Day that only celebrate the love relationship with others. When do we celebrate the relationship we have with ourselves, the love we feel for who we are, which is the most important one of all? Most people think self-love is selfish or egotistical, when actually it is essential for our growth and evolution as human beings. True love, unconditional love, must first be discovered and nurtured within, and then and only then can it be directed toward others, and only then can we be open to receiving the right partner.

So how do we learn to feel this love for ourselves, when most of us are burdened by life-long conditioning of self-doubt, insecurities, and fears that we are not enough? There are many practices that can help us get in touch with that feeling of love inside. My favorite, of course, is yoga. Yoga practice can help you become aware of the essence of who you are, and detach from that all that stuff which is not you. Make this Valentine’s Day about celebrating not only others in your life, but you, just because you’re you.



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About Missy Balsam

Missy Balsam is a full-time yoga instructor living in Naples, FL. Missy graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Psychology, then worked as a sales and marketing executive for many years before leaving the corporate world behind to follow her heart. Missy completed her 200 hour certification with Baron Baptiste, and since 2007 has found her true path sharing her love of yoga with others. Missy’s teaching style is one of empowerment, inspiration, and joy, encouraging students of all levels to keep growing and evolving, discovering the happiness that is already inside of all of us. And...even when it’s challenging, to just have fun and not take it all so seriously!

In addition to teaching group and private yoga classes, Missy leads kirtan concerts with her band Wabi Sabi. Kirtan is call and response devotional yoga music and chanting, and is another form of yoga practice called Bhakti. She is passionate about sharing kirtan which, like yoga, has created boundless joy in her life. For more about Missy, visit her website, and her facebook page Missy Balsam Yoga.