I saw an IG live yesterday from Catalyst Movement Arts (thanks for the inspo!) that talked about self love. It was a great live and it got me thinking about this concept of self love.
There’s all kinds of opinions on what constitutes acts of self love. From pampering oneself with naps, baths, pedicures, and massages to taking care of the needs of our bodies like getting enough rest, moving our bodies, and eating nutritiously, there’s an opinion out there on how to do it right and how to do it wrong. While I am a believer that acts of self love come from both categories, I’ve been paying attention to what I need to do to avoid burn out. The last thing I need or want is to work until I’m dead exhausted and then climb into a tub because I earned my act of self love.
True Love is given freely and willingly and is not meant to be transactional. If we were treated like this in a relationship, there would need to be serious conversations on healthy, loving relationships. So why should we treat loving ourselves any differently. Loving yourself is making choices that actively prevent you from burning out.
What does your body need right now? As I’ve begun really paying attention, I realized my body is always telling me what it needs. Dancing and teaching over a weekend can limit my mobility and made movement difficult. So I scheduled a massage. The other day I was tired from swimming, I took a nap. I didn’t have to feel like I earned the right to this break. I took this break.
This reminded me of that conversation in a barber shop from the movie Eat Pray Love when they are discussing the Italian phrase “La Dolce Far Niente,” which means “the sweetness of doing nothing. One of the men in the scene discusses a beer commercial that tells Americans they have earned the right to a beer, when Italians of course know they do. Why do we feel we have to earn the right to rest and take care of ourselves?
Maybe instead of feeling like we have to earn the right to love ourselves, we decide to give us the unconditional love that we deserve. Just by being you. No strings attached.