This question is central to much of the work I do. It tends to make people uncomfortable at first, because, quite honestly, how often do we think of love except in the context of another person? How often do we ask ourselves if something we’re about to eat, say, wear or listen to feels like love to us? And yet, the messages of self-love are constant. “You have to take care of yourself first”, “Self-love is not selfish”, “You cannot truly love another until you learn to love yourself”.
What does love feel like when it comes to everyday activities? When you walk into your home, do you feel welcome? Do you wear clothes that feel good next to your skin and bring you joy when you get dressed in the morning? What are you listening to, watching on TV and reading? Does it lift you up? Do you speak to yourself with kindness and encouragement?
Many times when I first introduce this concept with food, people laugh and the discussion immediately goes to food that’s often considered “off limits”. We often indulge in those foods when we’re feeling something we don’t want to. And to that I would ask “does that feel like love?” Does the action of mindlessly eating food that triggers that response feel like love? It seems at first bite, it may feel like it’s satisfying a desire or filling a need, but in the end, how does it feel? I would venture a guess that it feels more like betrayal than love. And not in a sense that you “went off the wagon”, but more that you weren’t honoring yourself with what you really needed in that moment.
Continually asking ourselves “what feels like love” is a way to honor ourselves in everything we do from getting dressed in the morning to what we allow in our environments and how we speak to ourselves. When we start with love for ourselves, the nonsense falls away and the rest falls into place. It doesn’t necessarily make life easier, but it does make it simpler.
Don’t believe me? Give it a try. What’s the next thing on your to-do list? How can you approach it with love?
One more thing: Stop waiting until you feel worthy. You ARE worthy right where you are, right now. You don’t have to earn it or prove it to anyone, including yourself. Honor yourself in every way. Love yourself in everything you do.