What Does Loving Yourself First Look Like?

Hand refuses unhealthy cake with whipped cream and chocolate

You might wonder why you are reading this? Who am I and what have I got to say that’s relevant to you? I write to connect with the people who can feel my heart through the words on screen, people who can see my soul and recognise a kindred spirit. You are reading this because we are one and the same.

Built for more. Yet, we give and give and give and give. Leaving ourselves depleted, empty, a hollowed out shell.

That is not who we are meant to be, it’s not who we ARE. We are fierce in our determination to give of ourselves, to change this harsh, cruel world and to do that to the very best of our ability, we must give to ourselves first.

What does that look like? To nurture ourselves as if we were the vulnerable, the sick, the weak that need taking care of? Hint – we are those things!

Well, it looks just like it does when we nurture others, it looks like kindness, sweetness, compassion, loving care and discipline.

Discipline? Yikes, no-one like the sound of that but oh yes, there must be discipline.

The discipline to take care in all ways that we need to function at the highest level of our being. The discipline of eating right, drinking cool clear water, avoiding toxic substances just as we avoid toxic people, toxic energy.

I used to joke that I took better care of my dogs that I did of myself. And it was no joke, it was the truth.

I would never feed my dogs the garbage I ate, no takeaways, no cakes, no bread, no sweets, no chocolate.

‘Not for doggies, bad for doggies.’ I would say as I crammed another bite into my mouth, all the while knowing it was equally bad for me. And knowing that, I still ate it.

Today, do I eat perfectly healthily all the time? I wish I could say yes, but no, it’s definitely better. There’s much less of the crap in the house, and I don’t indulge in buying cake and biscuits for visitors and eat it all myself the way I used to. Chocolate and some bread still make their way into the shopping basket and thus into the house and into my mouth.

I intend that as I continue on this path of self care and love that ill discipline will fade into nothing. I have come to see it, not as an indulgence but as a punishment, I just haven’t broken the bad habit completely yet. I will break it and be free from it before long, because its no longer in me to punish myself by eating crap that ultimately makes my body unwell.

Are there other disciplines you need to develop to show yourself love?

How about moving that marvellous feat of creation that is your body? Yeah, exercise!

Don’t groan like its a punishment, moving your body is a joy, a pleasure and a gift. And if its been a while, as it was for me, (six years after the car accident, injuries, ill health and me thinking I would never get back to wellness) your body responds joyfully to the discipline even as it feels tough at the start.

I felt embarrassed by how quickly I got tired and out of breath, but even as I was struggling on the cardio machines I was saying to myself, ‘I love myself, I love this body, this is good.’ And it was. I was ecstatic, here I was , my first time in a gym in more than six years and I was moving my body, working it, and it may not have been much and I sure didn’t look pretty but it was so much more than anything I’d done for myself in all those years.

exercise is joyful

And when I finished that first workout, I was so proud of myself and I’m going back, today actually. And I’ve committed to doing so 3 to 4 times a week, because I love myself, I love this body and here’s how I show that love, my giving it the movement it craves, the work it needs. the discipline of exercise.

Discipline = Self Love

Not the beating yourself up, pushing yourself too hard, refusing to stop when you need it kind of discipline. No, this is showing up for yourself and doing what you have committed to for yourself, to empower yourself, to give yourself strength, power and joy.

This discipline is kindness, it’s tough but fair. It’s self love in action.

This is putting yourself first, not on an imaginary pedestal, but in fact and deed. Loving who you are now, even as you work to support changes and build habits that will serve you better.

Today, spend some time thinking about your daily, weekly. monthly, yearly habits. All the things you do just because you’ve always done them.

How many of those habits serve as an act of loving kindness to yourself? Beneficial to your long term and short term well being? How many truly are acts of love?

And if they aren’t truly loving you, if they don’t come from love, then why TF are you still doing it?

I’m asking myself that all the time now. Its one of the reasons why I packed up and moved across the country, just put everything in boxes and moved my whole life. A new start to break the old habits, to leave them behind.

You know what, after a settling in period of 7 weeks, some of those old habits are starting to show up here. So its time for me to exercise more of that discipline I was talking about earlier.

Cut those chains, you deserve the best from yourself. You deserve YOUR best! Give it to yourself unreservedly. as if you were doing it for the person that you love most in the world, the person who matters most – another hint – You ARE!

Loving Yourself Comes First – Registration closes on Friday. Get in touch to join in this radical Self Love programme, If it feels right for you, do it. Its always your choice, your life, your love.

Love always,

Cynthia xx

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