At the end of one of the Shrek movies, Shrek tells Fiona that the best part of the day was getting to fall in love with her all over again. How often do you fall in love with yourself? Love languages. We've all got one (or a few). Whether you're an acts of service kind of person or someone who loves physical touch, you also have a self-love language. It's all about the ways you love on yourself and come to accept who you are, past, present and potential. Your love language is what someone else can offer you to make you feel loved. But your self-love language is what you can do for yourself to encourage you to fall head over heels for yourself with all the theatrics. You know, grazing your fingers across your face with a daydreamy smile arcing across your face. "I swoon!"
Understanding your self-love language allows you to do what works for you. Just because you see other folk getting a mani/pedi and calling it self-love or self-care, it may not be your thing. It might not do anything to make you feel warm and fuzzy. And there's nothing wrong with that. We're all different and we all have to tend to our needs differently.
Acts of Service
Something as simple as preparing a healthy and satisfying meal for yourself is an act of loving service, just as it would be if your significant other were cooking for you. Other acts of service that help to get you on the path of self-love include extending forgiveness and grace to yourself, being kind to yourself in both action and thought, and spa days. If this is you, don't allow anyone to get you to think that you're bougie, high maintenance, nagging or extra. The saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words," and for those who prefer acts of service, this is certainly the case. Continue believing what you see and make sure you can see the love you're putting on yourself.
Words of Affirmation
Fostering self-love through words of affirmation is very satisfying for many people. In fact, most people will use words of affirmation at some point in their self-love journey. There are many ways to go about affirming yourself. You can write little sticky notes for yourself, keep a journal, write on your mirrors, give a plant your name and speak life into it... The possibilities are as vast and wide as you can conceive. Whether you speak your affirmations aloud, in your spirit or put them on paper, you are creating neural pathways that will sooner than later have you fawning over yourself if you're not already. Remember to say your affirmations with both a smile on your face, sincerity and conviction. Every cell in your body loves you back.
Sometimes you just need me, myself and I time. That's right, you can give yourself quality time with just yourself, the number one person you love. Spending time alone can be very beneficial. When you spend quality time with yourself, you get to do whatever it is that you want, or more importantly whatever it is that you need. Sometimes your quality time can be just you sitting in your car listening to your favorite jam with intention and paying attention to how it's making you feel. It could be having a meditation session where you focus on self-love. It could be gathering with a group of like minded individuals with the intention of promoting self-love. Quality time gives you the time and space to love on yourself and speak the love language you understand.
Getting to know and love yourself is pretty wonderful. Using physical touch can look like many different things. Bathing, masturbation, yoga and jogging are just some of the ways you can use physical touch to deepen and foster self-love. When you add intention and focused attention to any of these touchy activities you are creating the link between the physical touch and self-love. As you wash and touch each part of your body you can say thank you and I love you. While you're moving in and out of yoga poses, you want to be going deeper mentally and linking your movements to your loving nature. You may even incorporate words of affirmation to help deepen the connection.
It's always fun to get a little something. Whether it's a candle, your favorite cookie or something shiny, giving yourself a gift for being you or reaching certain milestones is a perfectly logical self-love language. You deserve to be rewarded. Validation is important in any relationship, so be sure to validate yourself as needed. Remember, you don't have to apologize for filling your cup first.
The great thing about your self-love language is that it's not a static thing. It's fluid and can implement whatever self-love language you need in any given moment. Flexibility is one of the great pleasures of living. You can change your clothes, your hair, your attitude, your mind, just about anything. Believe it or not, you're the one in control of your life and how you choose to live it, give it and share it. Yes! You have that power. And it's amazingly beautiful.
We can turn even the most mundane of activities, practices and thoughts into an exercise of self-love when we do it with intention. We can be our greatest advocate, fan and lover. In fact, we should be. And there's nothing selfish or egotistical about prioritizing yourself. This is one very real trickle down effect that benefits you and those around you. Let's make it a habit to fall in love with ourselves everyday. It's important for our holistic health and for our ability to thrive in this world.