To fully love another, you have to love yourself. As we step into February, the quintessential month of love, we are constantly reminded of all of the ways we “should” want to be loved by others. Gifts, dates, cards, candies - constant expressions of affection. There is a misconception around February that part of our worth is dependent on the expressions of love we receive. This month, I am challenging you to channel some of your love inward, and love yourself in the same way you enjoy being loved by others.
At the beginning of the year, I took Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages quiz, to discover how I prefer to be loved by others. As it is, this quiz is impressively enlightening, and provides actionable ways to help both you and your significant other understand how and why you respond to certain expressions of affection. I have taken the quiz before, a few years ago, but this time around, I shifted my perception of the results. Instead of thinking of my Love Languages as a guide for my husband, I considered them as a guide for myself - 5 Languages of Self-Love.
The Original 5 Love Languages
Words of Affirmation: Unsolicited compliments & verbal expressions of love
Acts of Service: Personal favors and nurturing actions
Receiving Gifts: Tangible tokens of thoughtfulness and affection
Quality Time: Undivided attention and one-on-one time
Physical Touch: Connectivity through physical displays of affection
The Reimagined 5 Languages of Self-Love
Positive Inner Dialogue: Self-talk centered on positive attributes and kindness
Acts of Independence: Getting things done how and when you want to
Personal Value-Adds: Making purchases that truly increase quality of life
Quality Alone Time: Dedicated moments of solitude or reflection
Physical Wellness: Body awareness through fitness, nutrition and personal care
I've spent the last few weeks applying this simple tool of reimagined Love Languages to harness my independence in nurturing a happy and healthy heart. Using my new, self-care focused Love Languages as a framework, I have made a significant effort to spend quality time alone with my thoughts while independently doing and accomplishing things I enjoy, connect deeply to my physical presence and wellness, and remind myself of all of the reasons I am grateful to be exactly who I am.
When I first set out on this little self-love experiment, I couldn't help but think it might be selfish. I was actually worried about carving out quality time with myself, and wondered if all of this self care might get a little overwhelming, and a little expensive. But what I realized is that self-love is so much more about perception and mindset than it is about doing things or buying material items to find happiness. By simply deciding that you are going to be kind to yourself, your whole outlook can change. Being aware and conscious of negative self talk helps you shut it down. Making an effort to see the small moments in life as “quality time” helps you appreciate those moments more - even just grabbing a coffee from my favorite cafe has felt special to me over the last few weeks, simply because I decided it is. And of course, getting out there and doing things that are good for your body and mind does have an incredible impact on your mood and overall happiness. I finally scheduled the facial that I'd been “too busy” to find time for, and finally booked a hair appointment at a salon I've been dying to visit (thank you Calm Skincare Studio and bex+Co.!). I slowed down my routine and stopped making excuses to put off doing things that make me feel good.
At Moderna Muse, we’re in the business of personal growth, achievement, and development. We take this view not only for our clients, but also for ourselves. When a huge part of your life is focusing on all of the ways you can improve, it is easy to lose sight of all of the amazing things that you have already accomplished. It becomes natural to be hard on yourself, tear yourself down, and constantly tune into your failures and how you can fix them. When you're trying to go up and up and up, self-love and self-care often take a backseat. This is absolutely detrimental to your journey toward success. If you are not operating with love for yourself at your core, all of that work and every struggle, big and small, will wear you down. Tony Robbins said it best: “Push will wear you out. When you’re pushing to do something, you only got so much willpower. But when you’re pulled, when there’s something larger than yourself that you’re here to serve and that you believe you’re made for, that brings energy.” The key here is the part about belief - honestly buying into the idea that you were made for a specific purpose. That belief in your power opens you up to self-love and respect. If you're going to push yourself, you also need to address and nurture the things that pull you toward your inspiration, and balance out the pressure with a foundation of positivity and love for yourself.
So, why is this foundation of self-love so important? For most of us, when we hear the word “love”, we immediately think of our feelings towards others and the affection we receive from them. But the one thing in this world that you can 100%, without a doubt count on - with a little practice and patience - is yourself. You can’t run away from yourself. You can’t take a break from yourself, or go off on a journey and leave yourself behind. You are stuck with yourself, whether you like it or not - so you might as well learn to love you! Life is full of curveballs, and unfortunately, we often have to receive those curveballs from people we care about. This is not to suggest that you build up walls or distance yourself from love out of the fear of heartbreak, but it’s important that you develop personal strength and love for yourself to survive those surprises that life may throw your way. It all comes down to planning, out of respect for your own heart. There’s no need to sit around worrying about the worst things that could happen to you or the idea of being alone, but there’s strength in being prepared with an arsenal of independence. If you’ve only ever relied on others to provide love for you, then the symptoms of withdrawal will be at their absolute worst when you inevitably have to experience solitude. This isn’t limited to breakups - being alone is part of everyday life, no matter what kind of relationship you are currently in. From work to carting kids around to juggling finances and workouts and friendships and personal aspirations, life gets crazy, and you won’t always be able to sync with a significant other. You’ve got to be comfortable with just doing you when you have to and find the joy and love in simply being with yourself.
Easier said than done, right? Loving yourself is hard. So take the 5 Languages of Self Love challenge! I have felt everything in my life get a little easier by consciously placing self-love at my core. It has helped me move past setbacks faster, learn lessons quickly, and move forward with more energy and light in my everyday life. Take the quiz. Reimagine your Love Languages. Remind yourself how you want to be loved. Then make it your goal for the next month to give yourself that love and #liveyourmuse.
COO & Executive Brand Curator