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How Do I Speak My Own Love Myself?

How do I Start Loving Myself?

One of the things we need the most to function at our optimal level is connection. Our physical and mental health, as well as our quality of life significantly dwindle when we lack interaction and connection. That being said, we always hear the sentiment that, “The most important relationship we have and will ever have, is the one we have with ourself.” We cannot give nor accept healthy love to others without first giving it to and accepting it from ourselves. Our self-esteem and our level of self-awareness, which make a strong foundation and base for other aspects of our lives, very much depend on this relationship.

Love languages, first proposed by Gary Chapman in the early 90’s, are the ways in which we give and receive love. They differ from one person to the next, and when you are in a relationship, you and your partner may not have the same dominant love languages. Dominant meaning some can make one feel more loved than others.

Five Love Languages were proposed, namely : Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Physical Touch and Quality Time. G. Chapman realised that couples were not fulfilled in their relationships despite their partner/s feeling like and thinking they are doing everything to make their partner/s feel loved. Resulting in unfulfilling relationships. Knowing and understanding what actually makes your partner/s feel loved allows you to speak their language, and them yours.

The same rule applies with yourself. Often, we neglect ourselves and end up looking for fulfilment, love, acceptance, and happiness everywhere but from within. Leaving us unhealthy, stressed, lonely, unfulfilled, misunderstood, neglected, and unloved. Providing these things for ourselves gives us the capacity to be healthier, happier, more successful, and more content.

How then does one fulfil their own needs and become more self-reliant?

First, figure out what your love language is. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself:

Do you feel more loved when your partner

• tells you they love you? (Words of Affirmation)

• plans a trip for you to take together? (Quality time)

• surprises you with a meaningful gift? (Gifts)

• runs errands for you? (Service)

• spontaneously holds your hand while you take a walk? (Physical Touch)

The ways in which we express and crave love speaks a lot to how we were shown love in our childhood, as well as how we saw it being modelled by the people we interacted with the most in our childhood, i.e. our caregivers. How was love expressed to you when you were younger? What examples did you have of what love and relationships look like as a child? The way it was expressed as well as the lack thereof, play a significant role in how, as adults, we want and need to be loved and treated in our relationships, romantic and otherwise.

You can have more than one love language, and chances are that you do. Arguably, they are all necessary for a healthy relationship, however, as stated earlier, some may be more meaningful than others depending on the individual.

Words of Affirmation

This is when love and affection is expressed via affirmations, praise, and appreciation. When this is your love language, you appreciate cute texts, words of encouragement, and kind words affirming how much you are loved, appreciated, and seen.

You can fulfil this love language yourself by

• Journaling – Jot down your thoughts and feelings. This helps a lot with self-reflection and self-awareness while also providing clarity when you have a lot on your mind, and have a lot of emotions you have not yet labelled, understood, and dealt with, swirling around inside you. It also makes it easier to then express your thoughts and feelings.

• Giving yourself compliments – Tell yourself how gorgeous and sexy you are, how well you played that game last week, how you crushed that presentation, how amazing you are at making a place feel welcoming. Acknowledge your good qualities and remind yourself of them often. What is your favourite feature and personality trait?

• Positive self-talk – Give yourself words of encouragement in times of fear and doubt, be your biggest cheerleader, be kind and gentle with yourself when you make a mistake. Start being more aware of how you speak to yourself and what it is you keep telling yourself. Self-fulfilling prophecies and all.

• Checking in with yourself on the regular – Make time for yourself regularly to reflect on your thoughts, your emotions, your needs. You can do this while journaling.

Acts of Service

This kind of love is expressed by doing things. This can be anything from running errands, getting the car fixed, helping with cooking / the dishes. If this is one of your love languages, you can fulfil it by

• Volunteering (charity).

• Going to therapy.

• Arranging things in a way that is convenient for you.

• Giving yourself what you need as and when you need it.

Receiving Gifts

This one is self-explanatory, you feel loved and appreciated when you give and receive gifts. The time and effort, as well as the thoughtfulness of the gesture matters more than the gift itself. You can fulfil this for yourself by

Investing in yourself – Take a course that adds to your skills, join that dance class you have aways wanted to join.

Buying yourself something you have always wanted – This could be anything from those new shoes you have been eyeing to tickets for that music festival you have always wanted to attend.

Starting a DIY project – Start a painting/drawing, build that cool table you’ve been meaning to make when you get the time.

Physical Touch

This love language is best expressed through physical intimacy and affection. For yourself you can

• Do some yoga / some exercise.

• Go for / give yourself a massage.

• Have a bubble bath with some scented candles and a glass of wine (if that is something you can do).

• Eat healthy.

• Self-pleasure (yes, seriously, but only up to a healthy degree).

Last, but certainly not least, we have

Quality Time

This love language is expressed via active listening, eye contact, and receiving undivided attention. You can make yourself feel seen, loved, and appreciated by

• Spending time on things you love and enjoy.

• Taking yourself out.

• Starting a garden.

• Meditating.

• Reading a book.

Meeting your own wants and needs will make you feel more seen, heard, loved, appreciated, and reassured. It teaches you that you can rely on yourself, you have your full support, and it is safe to explore the world around you as you have a strong foundation of love, confidence, understanding, and acceptance of yourself by the most important person in your life,

Coach Nomie, Take Control x

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