Excerpt From: Glennon Doyle & Glennon Doyle Melton. “Love Warrior.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/love-warrior/id1082371516
It’s February - here come countless posts & memes about love, romance and self-love. When I first opened Instagram this morning and saw the first picture of a bed of rose petals and soft pink script “February” scrolled across it my reaction was “bleeecccchhh, here we go. Valentine’s month.”. Not an occasion single girls typically look forward to. Ironcially though, at the same time, I’m propped up in bed with coffee and Baxter-dog and listening to one of my Spotify playlists “Love n Country”, my favorite country love songs.
So. Love. What about love languages?
The last man I was with took such good care of me. One of my top-two love languages is Acts of Service, which I didn’t actually understand about myself until that last relationship. That was the first time I had been with anyone who actually met that need, and it was the first time I felt so completely understood and wholly loved by someone. I never felt as partnered with anyone as I did with him, and it was such an awakening to finally figure out why: he filled up that hunger in me that I had never even defined, much less fed. I felt heard by him; that he knew what things made my day happier or easier and did them without me expressing or asking. Things as simple as coming in from work and being told "I’ll make you a coffee and bring it to you in the shower", or "you need to pick up groceries? Let’s go do it”. MIND BLOWN.
Some of you reading this might have your mind blown at the idea that this was a revolutionary experience for me. But after two marriages and a couple other meaningful relationships in between, this was part of my awakening, my Phoenix process of growth, of finally understanding MYSELF and knowing what I need to feel that deeply connected and loved and intimate with someone else. In previous relationships I assumed the role of managing myself, my care, my needs and the needs of the household and my partner without their help. The house keeping, yard maintenance, filling the cupboards with groceries and paper towels and doing all of the laundry was my domaine. Period. I wasn’t actually raised this way; my dad did as much of the share of these tasks at home as my mom did or as my sister and I were assigned to do. But somehow I ended up in marriages where I was designated the role of Manager of All Things Needing Care in exchange for my partner’s role of Majority Financial Provider. I’m sure some of you reading this can relate, and there is nothing wrong with an arrangement like this if it meets yours & your partner’s needs, but for me I was being energetically depleted, like a slow leak I didn't even notice was there until I was empty.
So self-love becomes the catch phrase in the month that celebrates love. To me, the phrase sounds heavy, like a journey of deep reflection and personal discovery requiring many hours of therapy and reading and introspection to discover one’s true self and nurture this newly discovered being underneath our skin-suit... or something like that. Yes it can mean all of that, and that has been a lot of my experience the past two years. But it can also mean just nurturing yourself, through your own love languages.
The five languages (for those unfamiliar) defined in Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages” are: Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Acts of Service. If you don't know where you fall in this matrix take a few minutes to research the languages. You might be surprised to understand both what language(s) you need to feel loved, and what languages you use when you give love to others. For an amazing comedic take on it, invest 25 minutes in watching my fave comedy "I'm Sorry", episode Acts of Service (TruTv).
The title of this blog is borrowed from Glennon Doyle - “be a Warrior. The Warrior feeds all three of her selves: mind, spirit, body. ” Check in with yourself: are you feeding all three of your selves? What can YOU do, however big or small, to feed your mind, spirit, body by way of your love languages? How are you nurturing yourself, the beautiful warrior that you are?
You’ve gotta feed you. I mean feeding your soul; looking after nurturing your emotional well-being and your spiritual side in addition your physical body. Choose just one thing you can do to replenish yourself starting today: maybe drinking more water, reading something you've been meaning to read, or maybe a physical practice like yoga, a walk or a hike or a massage (self-massage with therapy balls counts too!). Maybe writing a positive mantra or affirmation down on a Post-It note for encouragement that you carry in your pocket or your wallet or stick to your mirror.
Part of what feeds me is being a teacher. I became a yoga teacher to share my love of the practice because of what it did for me emotionally and physically and how it helped me heal from a lot of emotional pain I was in. So part of what feeds me is teaching you, and I consider it a huge privilege to be the one at the front of the room when you show up looking for a place to move, feel, breath, energize, strengthen or heal.
THIS is self-love. Honoring the Divine within yourself and seeking what nourishes your Spirit. Feed yourself, warrior girl.