I have a fairly regular coffee date with a girlfriend and our conversations often launch my brain into thinking about all kinds of things. Beyond trying to figure out exactly the Spotify channel that was playing yesterday, a Karaoke fan’s dream come true, think 70’s awesomeness, it left me pondering the idea of love.
There are so many aspects to love. When you’re young, the idea of falling in love is magical. It’s like a fairytale. It seems as easy as tripping over a rock. You fall and there it is. You’re in love. In reality, you trip over a rock and fall all right, but it’s not always magical. Love is a lot more than puppies and rainbows. It’s not a feeling, it’s a choice.
But what does love really mean to you? In the dictionary, there are 14 noun definitions and 7 verb definitions ranging from having affection for someone to a tennis score. Ok, reality is what love is can really vary. And so back to my question, what does love mean to you? That’s the question to ask yourself, to ask your spouse, your children…because love can feel different, look different, show up different to each one of those people.
And we have to learn how to love them. It doesn’t come inherently. It comes through learning what makes someone feel loved, what shows them that you care. It’s an ongoing process because it can change. It’s The Five Love Languages but amplified because it can change.
After coffee yesterday, I went to yoga which is a great place to ponder and let my mind wander. In my own journey, I think a lot about learning to love myself, accept myself – especially my body. Even as I write that, it’s interesting because I say “my body.” Stepping back and looking at it, who else’s body would it be? No, it is mine. Except that my body is me. Again…my body is ME, your body is YOU. Why do many of us feel the need to call it out as something else, to claim it like a possession? Why do we not just say me or myself? We are a whole person. This brain of ours is going nowhere fast without a body.
So how have you learned to love your body, to love yourself? How do we bridge the gap between seeing our body as something that’s part of what we possess and fully integrating our body, our mind, our soul? I know I sometimes look at my body as something I have to control. I’ll think “my hair is out of control,” or random negative thoughts about the acts of betrayal parts of my body is executing against me.
Laying on my yoga mat yesterday I made a choice. To work harder at learning to love my body, myself. I’d encourage you to try it with me. For me, it’s starting with how I think about it. Having more compassion for my body, for all its/I’ve been through. Showing it/me more understanding. How about you? If you have something you do to show yourself – your complete self – love and understanding, share it in the comments. Let’s share the journey together.