You Take Care of What You Love
Strolling through Chelsea, listening to a podcast, this quote hit me like a dagger to the heart. I’m not sure where it originally came from, google search has failed me, but it is oh so true.
I have a little pug dog, Tater Tot. He is currently living large on a farm with his grandparents (NYC is not dog friendly). Back in the day, when we lived together, that pup wanted for nothing. I realized at one point that I literally spent more money on his food pound-for-pound than on mine. We would walk for hours after work, stopping by the dog park, visiting his puppy friends and checking out the latest arrivals at his favorite boutique dog store.
I’ve never had a problem loving others, and expressing that love. However, when it comes to loving myself things get a bit trickier for me.
The reason this quote hit me so hard is because I don’t feel like I’ve been taking the best care of myself the past few months. I have begun to accept my true self in radical ways by working to free myself from shame and guilt around food, my body, sexuality, money, and spirituality. The guilt I use to drag around is now lifting, dissolving, disappearing and it feels wonderful. Yet, there is more work to do, and this quote, “You take care of what you love,” woke me up to what I knew deep down: that my current actions are often not that of a person that truly loves them self.
For example, yesterday these three voices surfaced as I walked by my favorite bakery in the city. The first voice wanted instant gratification. “We need chocolate malt shake and a sugar cookie, stat!” The second wants something sweet, but doesn’t want to eat too much sugar and end up feeling sick or not having room for a nutritious dinner. “How about just a cookie.” And then there is my inner mean girl, voice number three, the part of me that has been conditioned by society for the past 20 years. It tells me that eating sugar is bad, and if I eat one I better feel guilt and hide it. “No cookie for you.”
That third voice, the mean girl, use to speak the loudest. But now, after months of inner work, I’ve moved past the guilt and shame. I have stopped dieting and binging, and oh it feels so good! Lately, I’ve been listening instead to the first voice – doing what I want, when I want, without any guilt or shame attached. This has been an important step in healing my body image issues and rebelling against dieting, but now I’m ready to embark on the next step in this journey to self love. I want to strengthen that second voice, my intuition.
I want to truly love myself. I see now that to do that means taking time to slow down, get quite, and listen. It’s time to crack open my journal. Time to dust off the ‘ol meditation pillow. Time to pause. Time to go deeper.