When I love someone, I adore them entirely.
I stroke their bodies with intent and wonder. I worship every curve, every imperfection.
I am a Leo woman, and with that, I love with fierce and fiery passion. My entire life has been consumed with my love for men; inhaling their scent, receiving their attention and basking in their strength.
Men have always made me feel loved; they make me feel beautiful and worthy.
Moving into my sixth month of being single for the first time in 11 years, I have been faced with some lonely hours and some ugly truths. I have spent these last six months reading countless articles about embracing love, accepting yourself and living your life with unbridled passion. I have read about the power of letting go and how you must first love yourself before you can fully love another.
This has all helped me along my journey, but I wasn’t yet ready. I still needed to walk the path of what I was reading before I could fully imbibe the messages that were presented to me.
Over the past months I have met various men who have taught me something new about myself. My likes, dislikes, strengths and insecurities have all surfaced; forcing me to question who I am and what I knew about myself. I have learnt the depth of my fantasies, my fears and the elements of self development that I needed to focus on. I have so much more to learn, so much more self-exploration to embrace, but I have learnt something these last few weeks that everyone should practice.
It has been said before, and will be said again, but I would love people to try this—just for a few weeks, and watch the transformation that occurs.
I was standing in the bathroom one afternoon, acknowledging my body in the mirror, recognizing that I had put on 11kg in just six months and thought back to my morning. I thought about how I had lay in bed next to a lover, stroking the full length of his body; I had run my hand across each beautifully toned curve, lustfully admiring his shape and the smooth flow of curves from his feet up to his shoulders.
I had gazed lovingly at his body, adoring every contour.
Standing in the mirror, it occurred to me that I do not do this for myself.
I give myself to others; I worship and adore these men without devoting any time to admiring myself. I mean this purely from a place of learning self-worth.
At this moment, I decided to begin an experiment. I had the beautiful sounds of London Grammar playing in the background and slowly, I ran my hands across my body as I would to a lover. I watched myself in the mirror lovingly as I stroked each curve of my body, admiring the roundness that had become my hips, the shape of my breasts and the new shape of my stomach. I stroked my legs and admired the slight muscles that appeared on my calves when I moved to my tip toes.
I embraced my body and told myself how I loved each curve, how womanly I looked and how smooth my skin felt. I told myself that I completely accepted who I was; now in this moment, I was enough. This wave of acceptance washed over me as I did this was incredible—I actually felt whole.
No one else was there telling me I was beautiful, making me feel special—it was just me, appreciating myself, and that felt wonderful.
I stepped into the shower and continued to wash myself in the same way. I had showered with lovers in the past, washing them sensually with smooth and carefully thought-out motions, with tenderness and love; yet, when I shower myself, it is quick with little attention paid to my own body. Today was different; today I washed with care and embraced every part of who I was. As I sat on my bed afterwards, massaging coconut oil into my skin, I vowed to do this every day.
I vowed to look at my body in the mirror and admire each curve, and I vowed to wash my body with the same attention and sensuality that I graced men with. I was going to love myself how I loved others—whole heartedly and without limits. I would not look at my body and judge the image that smiled back, I would respect the woman I had become and embrace what I saw.
The results: The toughest part of this experiment was committing the time to it when I was running late. Making sure that when I did this, I meant every loving gaze, every word of acceptance. However, every day that passed, I felt the change. I felt more positive about my body and I accepted myself; I accepted each curve and the image staring back at me became more beautiful with each day.
Not only that, I begun to eat healthier. I found I began to drink more water and make better choices.
I believe this is because I taught myself to value my body more. I taught myself that I was worthy of appreciation and respect. I re-learnt respect for my health and my body.
I had read about this practice many times, but never had I committed to trying this every day. After feeling the changes that arose from taking just a few minutes extra a day to admire and absorb my reflection, I will now always put time aside to love myself how I love others.
I understand the importance of this now and it feels glorious.
Everyone should try this, both men and women.
Commit to those few extra minutes every day and feel the changes.
Author: Rebecca Cheetham
Editor: Renee Picard