Bone Songs Myth & Magic - February Theme - Self Love

  As a member of the group called Bone Songs Myth and Magic, a group of gifted Pagan practitioners offer their experiences and guidance in their field of expertise. This past month our theme was Focus.  I wanted to share my contribution to this group with my blog audience and offer you the opportunity to find us and join us for our journey into learning more about ourselves and how we interact with the magical realm.

Here's my offering for February's theme called Self Love. I hope you enjoy.

Love Yourself First

Happy February! It is that time of the year when our focus switches to LOVE!  But why is that? What makes February the month of love?  Well, in AD 496 Pope Gelasius I established the Feast of Saint Valentine on February 14th. Later in the 14th Century, February became associated with romantic love. Over the years lovers would exchange love notes (referred to as valentines), candy and sometimes keys as symbols of their affection. While loving others is certainly something that is extremely important, I’d like to talk about something that often goes unmentioned in this lovefest.  Self-love.

Self love is defined as having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Taking care of yourself and not allowing anyone else to detract from that.  Even if that person is you. Self-love is not allowing others to treat you in a way that lessens your worth. Holding yourself in a circle of love and honor where you require that all who enter, treat you with respect and care. 

From my experiences in life, I can tell you that often I was told that I needed to sacrifice myself, my dreams, my wants or desires to be sure that those under my care came first. My college classes set aside, my choice of movie or even what pizza to get was determined by others in my life. I could just “pick off” what I didn’t like and deal with what I was given. Many of you may be in a similar circumstance right now. I allowed others to dictate what I would allow in my life and in turn ended up being negative to myself. Self loathing and self abuse were commonplace in my life. 

I finally came to terms with what I wanted in my life and how I wanted to be treated. I had to stop looking outside for things to make me happy and work on what I already had within me. All the tools I needed for happiness were right here and right now. I had to simply stop looking into tomorrow or crying about the past and focus on what I had right now. What did I need to be happy? What did I need to feel loved? I needed to let go of the things that were making me unhappy, and quite often, the thing making me unhappy was me. 

I started mindfully doing things. I would mindfully practice my faith. Mindfully do my chores and mindfully practice self-love. These things helped me move from a position of martyr to champion. Today I do not sacrifice myself at the expense of unhappiness simply to please another. I’m sure you’re thinking, but how do I do this? What is something real and tangible that I can do today to practice self-love?

“The whole cosmos has come together to create you. You carry the whole cosmos inside you. That is why, to accept yourself and to love yourself is an expression of gratitude.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

Well, start small. Take a moment to appreciate things that you enjoy. You don’t need to paint the Mona Lisa, but you do need to paint; if it brings you joy.  You don’t need to be the next Marlon Brando, but if you love it.. ACT! So many times we just don’t try to do the things we enjoy because we can’t monetize it, or we can’t do it professionally. Look around your life and think about those things that bring you joy and DO THEM. Make some jewelry, draw a picture, play an instrument. Do things that make you happy and soon you’ll begin to see that all long within you is all you need for happiness. Be kind to yourself, take a long leisurely bath, or go for a run. Do these things that make you truly happy and you’ll see a change.

We have to look within ourselves and be sure that we are the best we can be before we can begin to take care of others.  Think about it this way, if we have a jug of water, and we use this jug to fill the cups of those who need water, pretty soon our jug will be empty. The same applies to love.  If we do not take the time to care for ourselves and nourish our energy soon we will have nothing left to give to anyone else.

“If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else?” - Rupaul

I have often heard that self-love is selfish. I believe this could not be further from the truth. To me, Self-love is caring while selfishness is manipulative. Self-care is looking for wellbeing and sharing and selfishness is taking something from someone else. To love yourself is not selfish, it is self esteem. It is putting your health and wellbeing in the forefront allowing you the energy and the strength to move forward in your care of others.

The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider”.  We have within us the power to heal the world. We just need to start with ourselves. So I recommend, for this Valentine’s Day, take yourself on a date.  Give yourself a valentine. Don’t criticize or say hurtful things to yourself. Love yourself first!

PS  - Don’t pick off the toppings you don’t like.  Order your own pizza!  



Rev. Renee Sosanna Olson - CSM, PMI-ACP

Ordained Spiritual Counselor

Certified Holistic Wellness Coach

International Yogi Certification

Certified Crystal Master & Aroma Therapy Practitioner


History of Saint Valentine’s Day -

Saint Valentine’s Day  -

Self-Love and What It Means -

Self Care Strategies -


Self Compassion -

How do I love Myself -

Learning to love Myself -


Journaling Entries - Use Valentine’s Day to write a “love note” to yourself. Complement yourself on what you do well or what you have accomplished this year. 

Do What you enjoy - Take yourself out to dinner or treat yourself to a meal you prepared at home. Make something special that you love and makes you feel good. Go for a walk, or spend some time outside in the fresh air. Living a healthy lifestyle will not only make your body feel better but it will help your mind grow and become more mindful.

Everyday Valentines - Grab a stack of sticky notes and jot down things on them that are positive and make you feel good. Stick those notes all over the house. One on the bathroom mirror. One on the inside of a cabinet door. When you see them, read them out loud. I have notes around my house that tell me I’m beautiful, that I’m happy and that I’m a good person. Read them out loud every time you see them. This is self-love.

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