“My daughter has not yet asked me the definition of love, but her inquisitiveness must be rubbing off on me … OK, she got it from me in the first place. So, what is love and how do you define it?”
My 7-year-old daughter is rapidly growing her vocabulary and has an inquisitive nature for, well, for just about everything. “What does that mean?” she seems to be asking constantly. And sometimes I have a hard time finding the words to give her a proper answer; some things are much easier to define for a 7-year-old than others. She’s quick to sense my hesitation, and sometimes she’ll throw her arms in the air, muttering, “Just ask Siri.” I, however, am not so quick to let her believe that Siri knows everything.
It gets me thinking, though, about how to describe something I know so well, but may not necessarily have the words to define. Like love, for example. My daughter has not yet asked me the definition of love, but her inquisitiveness must be rubbing off on me … OK, she got it from me in the first place. So, what is love and how do you define it?
If I were to ask you to pull out a piece of paper and write all the things you love about your best friend, your partner, your children, you could likely write a novel. Now, pull out another piece of paper and write all the things you love about yourself. A radical idea, I know—love yourself. I’ll be honest, this was hugely challenging for me, and the fact that it was so tough is an eye-opener. It shouldn’t be difficult to answer the “do you love yourself and what do you love about yourself” questions. The way we love our children is the way we should love ourselves—fiercely and without measure.
A lot about how we can define something—like love— is through our actions, especially when trying to relate such a thing or explain it to children. And the act of self-love, I’ve come to realize, would be the greatest gift we could give ourselves and to our children. Such action takes the guesswork out of defining love in words. We all have a different definition of what self-love looks like, but there should be some common themes, starting with how we nourish ourselves.
Nourishment comes in many forms; we need to nourish our whole self—body, mind, and soul. Sometimes though, when bringing a new or radical idea into the way we live, it’s helpful to work on one aspect at a time, get that dialed-in, and then move on to the next. So, for now, let’s focus on nourishment through food and how that relates to self-love.
We have one body, one very precious life, and what we choose to put inside our body helps us to survive. But, what if we took it a step further and instead of “just” surviving, we chose to thrive? How would life be different if we took this approach? Let’s nourish ourselves from the cells up and love ourselves up. Self-love is about caring what you put inside your body. The engine is running, and can probably subsist on coffee and scraps from your kids plate for some time, but that’s like putting low-grade octane in the tank. Now, let’s put in the premium-grade and hear that baby purr.
OK, talk is easy, sure. Now how the hell do you do it? This doesn’t mean you need to overhaul your entire diet, because that’s a surefire way to backfire. Baby steps. Small actions taken daily will offer big results over time, and most importantly, will be sustainable. Let’s approach looking at food as what it provides us. What we choose to eat and drink gives us what we need to operate, and under those parameters, we are making choices that can help us to operate at an optimal level.
A simple and awesome thing to do for yourself: Before your morning coffee, while you are getting ready and preparing for the day, sip on some warm lemon water. Easy, right? The benefits of warm lemon water first thing in the morning are incredible: It’s great for your digestion and hydration, which then benefits your skin, and even your weight. Lemon water is not a magic weight-loss solution, but it plays a role in healthy weight maintenance. It’s become one of my favorite morning rituals. The water in your cup does not need to be boiling but should be warm. Squeeze in half a lemon, and sip away!
By nourishing yourself with healthy habits, you are on the road to radical self-love—and, as I can now explain to my curious daughter, that requires no definition.
“Baby steps. Small actions taken daily will offer big results over time, and most importantly, will be sustainable.”