What the heck is self-love anyway?
Self-love is a state of appreciation for yourself, that grows from intentional actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.
The 5 Love Languages, as I mentioned in my last post, were developed by author, pastor and counsellor, Gary Chapman. What started off as a series of books to help lovers communicate their feelings more efficiently, eventually became a benchmark for how many of us express the intangible… love.
As per Gary Chapman’s determinations, everyone falls into five categories of how they receive and express love. Understanding your partners’ love language helps you to better communicate how much you love them in a way that they can receive the message clearly. It essentially eliminates the language barrier since everyone doesn’t experience love the same way.
With this in mind, let’s explore for a minute the importance of starting from the beginning and understanding your own love language for you. Arguably, your relationship with yourself is your most important one you will ever have. So, learning to express love to yourself, will also make you more comfortable receiving it and that can be harder than you think sometimes believe me! (think of the last time a stranger paid you a compliment, yea like that lol). Learning to receive love, is just as, if not more, important than giving love, because if you don’t get comfortable accepting love, no matter how good it is, the person giving it will be doing so in vain.
You see, Self Love can mean something different for each person because we all have many different ways to take care of ourselves. Figuring out what self-love looks like to you as an individual is an important part of your overall well-being.
So let’s talk about the 5 Love Languages themselves; which are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts
Some of these sound like no brainers right? Receiving gifts, for example, V-Day, birthdays and anniversaries you learn to “walk with a gift”. Gifts in this sense mean something tangible. As kind as that gesture is, and a thoughtful gift usually does hit the spot, for some people just the experience of spending quality time with the ones they care about always beats the most expensive gift.
Now, let’s explore these in a bit more detail so I can give you some more insight about what they mean.
Words of Affirmation - means speaking life into yourself with daily or at least regular pep talks. These can come in many forms and can be conscious reminders like telling yourself how gorgeous you are in the mirror or subconscious like wearing T-Shirts with your favourite power phrases.
Quality Time - means spending time alone, engaging in your favourite hobbies and doing things that feed your soul. This could look like quiet time and can also look like going to your favourite movie to laugh your ass off by yourself.
Physical Touch - means doing things that make your body feel good. This is where you focus on satisfying your physical needs and promoting physical well-being. This can look like an orgasm or getting out of those heels into something more comfortable.
Acts of Service - means arranging and completing things for yourself that make you feel great, not out of obligation but sincerity. This would look like the difference between whipping up a meal when you’re hungry and experiencing the joy of making your favourite treat from scratch.
Receiving Gifts - means treating yourself with tangible tokens and experiences that make you feel appreciated and bring you joy. This can look like finally splurging on that pair of shoes or signing up for that course that you keep putting off.
As you can see there are quite a few ways to express love that never require you walking into a store or radically amending your schedule (which may not be such a bad idea btw) but I won’t dwell.
If you would like some guidance on how to apply your love language in practical ways in your own life, join our 5-Day Speak Love Challenge here to get started.