Fall in Love With Yourself First

A Valentine Ritual for One

Happy Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine's Day.

"To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness." --Robert Morely

There is nothing in the world that beats the feeling of falling in love and being in love! Many of us fantasize about meeting our perfect match and being swept off our feet … yet more and more of us think of relationships as a life partnership that gives us sustenance and allows us to share our selves and our love in a deep and soulful way. We long for a strong and happy unions and marriages, and home life that offers security and is sturdy enough to be the foundation for all else we do in the world.

With so many people expressing so much desire for true love, why are so many still searching? Why do many people fear love may never come? The reasons are many, and as complex as each individual who desires true love. Yet in my 25 years of experience as a journalist specializing in relationships, and then a minister, wedding officiant and spiritual counselor, there are two things that crop up time and time again.

One is that many people tend to think magically about love without doing the practical and emotional work to draw a relationship to them … and keep it healthy and alive. And second is that many of us skip important steps to creating the relationship of their dreams by forgetting the cardinal rule of love relationships -- in order to experience genuine, mature love with another we first must love ourselves.

I have said it before and will stress it again: Your first stop on the road to romance is with You! Looking for love externally, and even finding someone who seems to adore you, can be a fleeting thing if you do not have a strong foundation of self-esteem. It is honoring of oneself that opens the door for another to truly do the same.

I believe this is a spiritual law that guides the world of love relationships. I've witnessed regularly what is possible for women, and men, when they do the work on themselves that allows them to connect with another human being on a deep and soulful level.

I see it all the time in the couples that step up to the altar on their wedding day and truly connect to one another's souls, with the deepest kind of love and communion, as they speak their wedding vows to one another.

If there is no partner in sight, it sometimes helps to fake it until you make it. Why not do what kids do when they are trying to learn how to master their world -- they pretend and play act. It can actually be a way to empower your subconscious mind to agree, "YES, I AM worthy of love, happiness and a great relationship with self … as well as with another."

Self Love Ceremony

In addition to the more mundane and sometimes emotionally demanding tasks of getting ready for love, ritual helps to give us a head start. That's why marriage ceremonies are so important. If you want to make a powerful statement about your readiness for love … fall in love with yourself first and ceremoniously commit yourself to yourself. Your willingness to take such a strong stand for love in your life will create miracles in all areas and will initiate you to a new way of being.

You will need ample time alone, something wonderful to wear, candle, flowers, paper or journal and pen, a mirror, music and "first dance song", celebratory food and libation (a glass of wine or grape juice is fine), anything else you would like to include:

  1. Light a candle and bring light into the room.
  2. Say a brief prayer: "Divine Spirit of All There Is, please fill this place with your sacred presence. Support me in my efforts to express my love for myself. Help me see my own divinity. Amen."
  3. Sit down and meditate on the qualities you desire in a mate. Daydream about what you would say to that person were he or she standing before you on your wedding day.
  4. Write down three (or more) vows that are personally meaningful to you: "I will promise to love you through all time… I promise to love myself so that I can more fully receive your love … I adore the way I feel when I am with your … etc."
  5. When you feel ready, look into the mirror and connect with your own eyes and read the vows to yourself. It may be uncomfortable at first but you can transcend that. Know that your self-love vows will send a powerful message to the universe that you are ready for love!
  6. Celebrate your union with self with a sip of wine.
  7. Play the music of that "first dance," the one you hope to share with your beloved someday.
  1. Dance … and feel the love.

Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is an interfaith minister and non-denominational wedding officiant. Family and Inspirational Editor at Beliefnet.com. She is a love columnist and creator of Find Your Spiritual Soul Mate, an e-mail course available only from selfhealingexpressions.com. This article is adapted from her book A Goddess Is A Girl's Best Friend: A Divine Guide To Finding Love, Success and Happiness (Perigee Books, December 2002). Laurie Sue is also author of Release The Seductress Within (Gramercy Books, January 2004).