Love is All You Need
"Love is Love is Love is Love is Love is Love is Love is Love, cannot be killed or swept aside....." - Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton playwright
The theme for our classes this month at kOMpose Studio is- you guessed it- LOVE! When you stop to think about it, there is no universal definition of love. Love means something different to each of us. So, as I began to design my classes for the month, I started thinking- "What does love mean to me?"
My journey over the past couple of years taught me the importance of self-love. In my experience, self-love is the most difficult love to give and receive because many of us think we are not worthy enough to receive love. I know I didn't. I believed that in order to be “loved” by others, I had to get their approval. So I decided to become an overachiever. And boy, I overachieved at that too! I graduated from great schools and I landed a terrific job out of law school. I moved up the ranks quickly and made partner in the law firm in less than 7 years.
But then something happened. I started having health issues and I could no longer perform at the level that I had in the past. And all of a sudden, I didn’t know what to do. I took some time off of work and spent a lot of time alone in quiet reflection. And it was during this time that I found yoga. Or perhaps said a better way, yoga saved me. My yoga teachers started talking about self-love and compassion. They said things like “you are enough” and “there is nothing for you to do, just be yourself”. Those empowering messages kept me coming back to yoga.
My early yoga teachers got me started on my journey of loving and accepting who I am. Today, I am still working on that transformational journey. Back then, I didn't believe that I was worthy of love. Hell, I didn't even like myself. I needed the approval of sources outside of myself to tell me that I was worthy of love and good enough. I put everyone else’s needs ahead of my own and my life got out of control. It became a vicious cycle of my performing to please others to get love in return. I felt like I was on a treadmill that kept getting faster and faster and faster. Eventually, my body just gave out.
Getting sick forced me into a situation where I had to start being honest with myself and begin to make some difficult but necessary changes in my life. Change is never easy and as they say, old habits die hard. It is a daily practice. Loving myself is a choice I make every day. Some days are better than others. I am not perfect at it. But I continue to work my daily practice of meditation, yoga, prayer and journaling. My mantra is, "If you work the practice, the practice works."
What does love mean to you?