Give Yourself a Valentine’s Gift of Self Love

Oh you love haters! We’ve all been inundated with the “I hate Valentine’s Day” naysayers, haven’t we? Complaints about the commercial aspects, how it’s a “Hallmark” holiday (which, BTW, it’s NOT. Do a little research, would ya?) and, worst in my eyes, the “I’m single and this day SUCKS” people. This is a note to you…and to those who love Valentine’s Day. And to even those who are ambivalent about it. Basically, it’s a note to everyone. 🙂

Dear Everyone,

First and foremost, HI! I love you. All of you. Yes, even you there in the back. You’re all important to me and I’m so glad you’re here with me.

Second of all, I adore Valentine’s Day! What’s not to love about a day devoted to LOVE? Okay, maybe it didn’t start that way (seriously…do some research and some reading. Expand your minds a little.) But LOVE is what we’ve made Valentine’s Day about in the good ole US of A.

Valentine’s Day is all about the LOVE!

And NO ONE says that love is JUST for happy, wildly in love, mad for each other, couples. LOVE can be romantic, familial, platonic, and even in working relationships.

LOVE is for everyone.

(And yes, I say LOVE with capital letters every time because I want that word to jump out and attack you. I want you to read it, understand it, embrace and accept it.)

Love RingsDo you love your children? Your parents? Your friends? Your dog? Maybe you’re a little more material – do you love your job? your home? your car? Maybe you just love your money? Regardless of the people or the things you might love in life there’s one thing you MUST love every day, in every way – yourself.

What? The girl who cries about self-worth and has self-esteem issues is talking to you about SELF LOVE? HELL YES! Because this girl knows what it’s really like to have self hate…and without reason. And on a journey of finding real love in this world, I’ve found that the most important LOVE to have emotionally is love for myself. Until that happens, no other love will work.

So, this weekend, start with SELF LOVE. Find things about yourself to celebrate. Give yourself a gift. Buy yourself a card, one that says what you want yourself to know. Indulge in a box of chocolates or a rose or a nice dinner. Take a photo of your best feature and tell others why you love that about yourself. Tell yourself that you’re a good mom, a good spouse, a good friend, a good employee – whatever area you truly rock at AND the areas you have doubt.

Take this Valentine’s Day, whether you’re single, in a relationship or “it’s complicated” and start with the most important thing – loving yourself!

With love, hugs and sometimes kisses,


My turn!

Now, that might seem simplistic to you. You might say, “Yeah, right. That’s a great note, Terese. Now…do it yourself!” And, for you continuously negative folks, here you go. These are things I’m saying I LOVE about myself and that I choose to cherish and share with others. Starting from the outside that others see (and, unfortunately, judge) and working my way to the secrets held inside, these are the things I love about myself:


Oh, hell to the yes! I have KILLER eyes. Many times, they are the first thing people notice about me.


But more than the color, size and shape of them, I love how they let me see the world. Through my eyes, I can see the world as only I can understand it. Each of us is unique in how we see the world and how we interpret it for ourselves.

I also love that my eyes are expressive. They show others my emotions, my happiness and my hurt, my anger and my forgiveness. Eyes truly are the window to the soul and mine are amazing because my soul is amazing.


It’s taken me many years – 40, in fact – to really appreciate my smile. My daughter has often commented on my “turtle smile” when I don’t show my teeth – just a tight line of a closed lip smile with scrunched up cheeks. I know she wasn’t being mean; she was just trying to make me laugh and therefore show my real smile. I have a good friend who has a way of making me smile regardless of how I’m feeling and then helps me to see the beauty in that smile. My smile is always a reflection of my joy. An honest smile lets people know when you’re happy…and I am!


I know I’m not the healthiest I could be, my weight is higher than I’m comfortable with and I’m not always happy to be a size 14 (“What?! Did she actually admit that? In writing?” Yes. I’m a size 14. Move along…). But, along with this weight comes some great curves. As the fun little saying goes, “I finally figured out my shape – I’m hourglass with extra minutes!”


My favorite pose from my 2013 pin-up shoot

More than the sexual aspect of the curves (but, let’s face it, in this world, at this time, that’s not a bad thing to have), I simply love what my body gives me.

  • WARMTH. When I was a tiny little size 4, I was always cold. Even in the summer. These days, I’m rarely cold, like truly down to my bones cold. Unless I’m ill or it’s bitterly cold outside. I have a little more insulation on this frame now and I’m WARM.
  • STRENGTH. Again, as that little size 4 when I was 22, I wasn’t really strong. Now? I can pickup my 138 lb teenage son. Easily. There are muscles on this body…they’re just protected by a little more fat tissue.
  • A DESIRE TO BE HEALTHIER. Thinking back to 22 still, I didn’t worry about my health or fitness. I was tiny, I was cute, I had the “metabolism of a hummingbird” (as my mom always said). Why did I need to worry about my weight or my health? Now, at almost 41 (shhh!), I consider more what foods I put in my body. I wear a FitBit so I have an idea that I’m getting SOME exercise and I celebrate when I get more than anticipated. I have a better sense of what my body is telling me when it hurts or when it needs specific attention.


Compliments from a Stranger Cover

First cover attempt for my first novel

Oh, I’m no Hemingway or Shakespeare (but, then again, was Shakespeare even Shakespeare?). I’m not even a Stephen King or Danielle Steele or James Patterson (then again, is James Patterson really James Patterson anymore?). However, I’ve moved people with my words. Emotionally moved them. Or compelled them to act.

Sometimes my words are here, sometimes in a Facebook or Twitter update, or in emails, or in little personal notes, and sometimes even face-to-face. I’ve even written a couple of novels that the public may some day get to read. I may not be the best writer or speaker, but I do have a skill with words. And I love that I have that! It’s marketable. It’s livable. It’s human. It’s me. And it rocks.


A handful of the organizations I support personally or through my job.

I give and I give and I give. And I’ll give more. And I love to give! To see someone else a little happier, their life made a little better, their burdens a little lighter – and to know that I helped make that happen – that is huge to me.

Whether I’m giving my money, my skills, my time or just my thoughts, I love that I am a giving to someone else. I do care if it’s from a personal request to me, through a true non-profit or charity organization, a Kick Starter or Go Fund Me account or something else. If I see a way to help and I have the means to do so, I will help!

And, on the flip side, if I can’t personally give to someone, I’ll do my best to connect those in need with the correct resource. To make that connection, to introduce two heretofore unconnected entities, is bliss to me.



The look my computer sees every time I get the curiosity bug!

This is a wild and mysterious world! And there is more to it than any one person will ever know…could ever try to know. But I love to find out all I can. And I love to be challenged with a research project, even if it’s one of my own making.

A simple visit to IMDB can lead to an hour of reading about an actor’s resume and life. A quick check on Wikipedia can take me from looking up a Latin name for a flower to why bobbleheads usually wobble front to back instead of side to side. Any question from my kids that tests the limits of my knowledge we research and find out the answer…and then some more!

As long as I find this world interesting and compelling, I have a great reason for being and I love that I have that ability and desire to learn more…every day.


There is so much more I’m learning to love about myself. I may not love it all now, but I like a lot of it. And overall, I love me. I love life. I love people. And I hope you find something to LOVE this happy loving holiday. Please celebrate Valentine’s Day – if not for another, for yourself. I would love for you to share at least ONE THING you love about yourself. Tell me with words or share a photo (keep it mostly family-friendly please). I love to know more about those I’m interacting with and I want to know more about YOU!


About T.A. Babcock

Writer, artist, mom, special project manager, MS Office Goddess, beautiful dreamer, randomly eccentric lady. (Not necessarily in that order...)

Posted on February 13, 2015, in Getting Real, Health & Beauty and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Awesome! But you forgot to put that you love how you are an awesome friend, coworker, mom and inspiration to women every where! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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