Everyday and at my will. Slowly and gently… but not always. Some days I pump it up.
No one told me how powerful making love to yourself could be. No one told me that it would awaken nerve endings I never knew existed.
Why wasn’t I taught to do so when I was in school? When I hit puberty and saw only a struggle in the mirror? Why didn’t I realise it when I was old enough to let someone else make love to me? Why didn’t I realise that that’s what one of my favourite writers was talking about…
To treat every morsel I place on my tongue as a caress and not a curse.
To throw my shoulders back and own what I hid behind clutched books and bags, or an ugly stoop.
To make my overbite part of my laugh.
That’s just the beginning… you truly start making love to yourself when every action of yours checks back with what you truly want.
As I look deeper into the mirror, taking in the shape of my lips and eyes; the way my skin changes in colour and texture depending on exposure; how my hair curls and greys; how my jaw goes awry as I smile. I spend time seeing myself. I feel my skin. I touch myself. The smoothness and the bumps. Some days I start making love to myself by feeling who I am on the surface.
Somedays it is by immersing myself in a job well done. I let my brain feel passionately loved. And when it is not a job well done – because that happens too – I don’t lick my wound, but kiss it better. I love it back to well-being.
I make love to myself in a myriad different ways, every single day…
As I pump weights or do a cardio routine, sweat dripping and pulse raising.
As I buy the largest waffle cone at Cold Stone and sit in the middle of a mall slowly savouring every lick, even as my embarrassed daughter looks on.
As I stand at the sink chopping a stack of vegetables, feeling the juices stain my fingers, smelling the chicken on roast.
As I politely turn down jobs because it doesn’t woo my soul.
As I kick my longterm tenant Mr Guilt out.
As I make time for my tears and fears and listen to it without judgement.
Just as importantly, as I make time for all that makes me laugh and gives me joy.
As I binge-watch Scott and Bailey.
As I stand under the shower, with no thought of what next.
As I lie in bed, woolgathering.
As I make fearless plans, without hedging my happiness on its realisation.
As I walk into a crowded cinema alone, because I don’t need company to enjoy myself.
As I look people in the eye, ready to embrace their criticism or praise, making neither about me.
Thing is, I was making love to myself for months before I knew what I was doing. Realisation crept in when I stood in front of the mirror, and saw myself as ‘beautiful’. And finally saw that the best day of my life could only be TODAY.
Bad hair day? So what!
A sudden panic attack? I will do what good friends do . Listen and be kinder to myself.
Skin breaking out? Will just smile wider.
Big breasts? Yes, thank you.
A roll of fat for paunch? Nothing a good jeans won’t forgive.
Too broke for a massage? Well, that’s a little hard to fix…
A bit of heartbreak? I will just love myself more intensely.
This making love to yourself business is not a one-off investment. It’s not easy either. It’s undoing years of doing the opposite. It’s a daily practice of falling in love again and again. One that I am learning from celibate monks.
How do you make love?