Ep 23: The Love You Need Now

Without love, we will suffer. It’s a basic human need. But what does that mean? 

We all want a partner who shows up for us, cares for us, and loves us in their own special, unique way. We deserve that.

However, if we are not loving ourselves and caring for our own mind and body on our own terms, our mental, emotional, and physical health will suffer. So even when our partners care and love for us a ton – it can not replace the love we need to give ourselves.

It is our responsibility to nurture a relationship with ourselves. And when we do, our relationship with our partner will flourish. But you first. Love starts with you first. Every time.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How our mind and body are connected.
  • The beauty of seeing yourself as worthy of care and respect.
  • The importance of starting now, not later.
  • How your own energy affects your relationships.

Mentioned On The Show:

  • Sign up for the Free Facebook Membership HERE.

Hi! This is Rachael Cunningham and You’re listening to Joyful Love, Episode 23!

Hello hello! I’m so glad you’re joining me today!

Whether you’re on a walk, running errands in your car, or heck even in the shower … which is where I listen to some of my favorite podcasts …. Thank you for showing up and listening!

So … here’s what i’m dealing with right now … Over the past few months I've been waking up earlier and earlier and at first I viewed it as Something pretty great! The more time alone I can get in the morning the better! And my body felt ready to wake up at 4 AM. And then at 3 a.m.! So why not just accept that, right?

Well.. it was fine until it wasn't! You can only go so long with 5 or 6 hours of sleep on a regular basis until your body says okay enough is enough. So after a while, I had to have a come to Jesus moment with myself! And remind myself that I was worthy of sleep again. So this morning when my body wanted to wake me up at 4, I got up and use the restroom I took a sip of water and I climbed back in bed. I told myself even if I didn't go back to sleep I was worth it to lay there and do nothing.

 I was worth it to allow my brain to relax and not feel like it had to get up just because I wasn't sleeping.

 So I decided to meditate for a bit. I Closed my eyes,  I put my hand on my heart and one hand on my stomach and I breathed in deep. I counted my breaths to ten.  and then I started over again …  in 1 out 1,  in 2 out 2,  in 3 Out 3, all the way to 10. and then I started to repeat it again and before I knew it … i what I was back to sleep.  and my body woke me up at 5 again.

 I remember when I was a teenager my dad would always be gone really early in the morning way before we were up for school.  He told me one time that he left every morning at about 4 a.m.

He had an interesting routine of getting up and going down to the local gas station called Junior's and he’d drink coffee, read and knowing him, he’d probably flirt with any pretty girl that made eye contact with him….

True story.

But when I started waking up earlier and earlier, I begin remembering this little Nuance of my dad that he was a very early riser too. And I thought maybe it runs in the family. Maybe once we hit 40 we just start needing less sleep. So I used that as an excuse to ignore the issue and give myself less sleep. To just get up and not concern myself with getting the amount of sleep that I actually needed.

But it's catching up with me. And I can tell. And now that I know that it's catching up with me I have a choice moving forward, I can believe that I don't have any control over what happens … and just keep getting up at 3 a.m. when my body says get up, or I can take control back over myself and decide on purpose to make a change where I can. My wiser self knows what to do.

Even if I love that extra few hours in the morning, even if I wake up inspired and excited to start my work day, I know that long-term my body needs rest. So that's what I'm going to give it. If I can't fall back asleep, I’ll allow my mind and body to rest by lying there and meditating.

And this got me to thinking about what I want to share with you guys this week.

Before I became a relationship coach –  I was a yoga instructor, a doula, and Received my certification from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

So I've been studying self care for the body and mind well over 15 years now.

 As a marriage coach I teach that there are three pillars to having a great marriage:

Number one is the perspective that you have for yourself. Number two is the perspective that you have for your partner. And number three is your perspective of your relationship together.

I put these in this order because it is absolutely the order that you need to prioritize these three aspects of Life as a married person.

 That first perspective is how you see yourself. And that's what we're going to talk about today.

How you see yourself has a direct correlation to how well you care for yourself. This is why you can never shame yourself into consistent change. It's why you can never beat yourself up enough to finally make healthy habits a priority.

 Before you ever become a person who cares for themself really well, you have to actually believe that you are worthy of love and you are worthy of all the good feelings and all the goodness that you can possibly bring to yourself.

If you've tried over and over and over and over throughout the years to be a person who shows up for themselves consistently, who moves their body[a] through exercise, Who listens to their body and eats with their future self in mind, who eats for energy, who relaxes and gives themself rest regularly, someone who prioritizes sleep and fun in life on a regular basis,

But after a week or two, you keep going right back to you those habits that keep you physically exhausted, and  mentally and emotionally drained….

If this is you, I want you to try something a little differently next time.  And by next time I don't mean next Monday I mean starting as soon as you're off this podcast.

Here’s what I want you to do different…

I want you to lose the shoulds in your life. You know those little sentences in your brain that say I should be working out Or I should be eating healthy or I should be sleeping more or I should be taking care of myself better. I should be having more fun.  All of those shoulds that you’re telling yourself,  I want you to just look at them for what they are … they’re a subtle way of telling yourself that you're not good enough.

 They’re a subtle way of putting yourself down.

 Up until this point you've actually been doing the best you could  With what you know. So take a moment today to look at how far you've come in life.

Remind yourself of all the struggles and all of the difficulties in life that you have overcome already.  I want you to close your eyes and envision yourself as a woman who has Incredible strength, loads of wisdom, and immense love inside of herself. I want you to own that this woman is already you … right now.

I know this to be true because I've never met a woman who didn't have that strength.

From the homeless woman that I met yesterday that had to be about 65 years old and who very confidently came up to me to tell me what her needs were to the woman who seems like she has it all together on the outside, but inside she's struggling a lot.

The same love and strength and beauty and kindness and worth that is in both of them is in every single one of you.

The absolute truth is that you are 100% lovable and Worthy of that love right now. Not later when you figure it all out! But right now even if you're in the midst of Feeling like shit.

 The truth Is: you are magnificent. You Are a Human Being whose body and mind and heart are doing everything they can to work for you. Your body is made to heal itself, to work for itself and not against itself. And yes even those of you with autoimmune diseases and different illnesses your body is still working hard to figure out how to get back to homeostasis where it's balanced and whole.

Your mind and body are connected.

They are not separate. I talk a lot about managing the mind in this podcast and in my work, but my background is also in caring for the body. You cannot ignore the body and think the mind won't be affected. You can't ignore the mind and think the body won't be affected.

This is your relationship with yourself. How well you care for both of these things. Your mind and body – They makeup you. And I'll go so far as to say you cannot ignore your relationship with yourself and not expect it to bleed over into your relationship with your partner.

So how do we live a consistent life where we're constantly aware of what our body needs and we actually give it what it needs.

 It's super easy when you're motivated right? Like when we wake up with that extra boost of serotonin and some excitement about life  – or  maybe we planned a new goal and That first week or two of new goals is exciting. It can be  enough momentum to really drive you forward for a little bit.

 But what do you do when you wake up low and feeling melancholy? how do you keep consistent on your habits when you just don't really care anymore? when your moods are so low that you just want to escape? Not Escape into a salad but Escape into a cupcake and maybe some over use of social media or tv?

The very first thing I want you to get in the habit of doing is seeing your value even on your lowest days. And you have to plan for this! You have to look forward and say tomorrow I might wake up and feel really low. I might wake up and feel sad or frustrated or anxious. And what am I going to do in that moment? You have to plan ahead for these times.

I love the habit of looking in the mirror and meeting your eyes with your own eyes. Look deep into your own soul in the morning. Past the wrinkles,  past the unbrushed teeth,  past the messy hair and extra flab, and look deep into your own soul.

See yourself for even just 10 seconds in the morning and tell yourself you are worthy of love. You are worthy of care. No matter how you feel right now,  I'm going to take care of you
today[b]. Tell yourself I don't just care for you when it feels easy. I'm going to care for you when it feels the hardest.

Back when I was a birth doula many of my clients who hired me did So because they wanted to have a natural birth. And they wanted someone there to support them, hold space for them, and physically and emotionally help them through the difficulty of allowing their bodies to do what it  needed to in order to birth a baby without drugs.

Now if in my coaching sessions I would have only talked about the beautiful baby that they’re going to get to have and hold in the end and never prepared them for the pain they might feel on the way … they would have been blind-sided at the first intense contraction.

So, no … just like you train for a marathon … we trained for birth.

We practiced imagining the pain and breathing through those moments. We practiced feeling the pain instead of avoiding and resisting the pain.

I taught them about the magnificence of the human body and how it worked to open up and give birth … and I taught them that for many women … not all… but many women the pain was part of the process. The body was doing exactly what it’s supposed to do … and it’s not scary if you understand it.

And although some women opted for an epidural (which was right for them in that moment) the ones who were able to get through the pain without so much suffering — because experiencing pain and suffering are two totally different things …  they were able to do so because they TRUSTED who THEY were. They TRUSTED that their bodies were magnificent and incredible.  And they worked WITH their bodies instead of fighting against them.

What if you could view yourself as magnificent and lovely even when you experience negative emotions? Even when you were in emotional pain?  What if you did not judge your worth and your value based on how you feel?

If you could tell yourself, “I am a magnificent creation … because God / The universe / or whatever you believe … does not make junk!”

You are part of creation! Part of the beauty in this world. And because of that – you are worthy of love and should be treated as such.

But …. Here’s the thing … We’re constantly looking outside of ourselves to be loved. And understandably so. Unfortunately it's not doing us any good. Even if our partners, our parents, our friends and family are incredibly good at loving and caring for us … No one can love and care for ourselves the way we can. Because it's not their job. It is not their job to love us in the only way we can love ourselves.

You know what I'm talking about here!

No one is going to make you eat the protein and salad instead of the cupcake but you. No one is going to tell you to turn off your phone and go to bed except you! No one is going to tell you cut down on  the wine!

No one is going to make you move and exercise your body when you know it's what you need. No one is going to encourage you to take 10 minutes to breathe and rest so whether that means just a cup of tea in the afternoon or a meditation session.

 No one's going to make you step out in the sunshine. even the most attentive a part of Partners who try to encourage healthy living and try to make it easy for you to do so, they are not the ones in charge of you. Only you can you take the steps to do so.

Just like with my Doula clients when we had to practice and look ahead and yes even expect those really painful moments. We had to look at them with wisdom and love.

That pregnant momma needed to understand how magnificent her own body was if she was going to make it through the pain to the other side.

What if you could do that too. Look ahead whether it's today or tomorrow or next week, you know that there is going to be a time when you want to give up. When you wanna chuck your plans that your higher brain has created for yourself,  and start the cycle over again.

Instead I want you to imagine yourself on that next day that's really hard, imagine yourself allowing the feelings that come up… whether it’s sadness, frustration, or even exhaustion … allow these negative feelings to be there.

And don't make it mean anything. Don't make it mean that you're not worth being taken care of. Don't make it mean that you have to start all over. Don't make it mean that something has gone wrong because you're experiencing a normal human emotion.

This is where planning ahead of time works really well.  Take some time to sit down and ask yourself what do I need? What does my morning routine need to look like?  what do I need to give up for my health? What do I need to add in for my health?

Come up with a plan. A plan that you will honor. And don't make the mistake of making it super difficult. Trust me on this – small consistent changes build up over time to make a huge impact in your life.  

this week when you may simply choose to stretch for 5 minutes and drink more water. And you're going to honor that every single day. Next week you’ll add to it. Or you may decide to start bigger. It doesn't matter.

Use that higher brain that is so good at planning and so good at bringing wisdom end growth into your life and use it to plan ahead of time. And then when your lower brain kicks in and starts telling you it's not worth it. To just sleep in. To just go back to what you know. Go back to what's easier.

You're going to look at yourself in the mirror and say you are worthy of love. I'm going to treat you like a goddess. I'm going to treat you like the queen that you are. I'm going to treat you with so much love and respect that at the end of this day even if you were sad and Melancholy all day long, you are still going to lay your head on the pillow and say I treated myself with respect today. I treated myself with love. I moved my body I ate healthy.  I took really great care of myself even in the midst of my own human emotions and even in the midst of my family's human emotions.

Notice that you have a choice in every single moment of every day …You have a choice to do something that gives you energy or depletes your energy. You have a choice to do something that builds strength in you or tht  encourages fragility.

You have a choice to say yes to yourself or no to yourself. And so many times we think that if we say no to ourselves we’ll be able to be selfless and say yes to others. We think that's what we're supposed to do.

And I will say that as a mother and as someone who loves her family dearly there are times when you'll want to do that … to say not to yourself for your family …

But you need to take such good care of yourself and say yes to yourself so often that during those times when you do need to rise up and be selfless and give more of yourself than you physically or emotionally think is possible, that you have the Reserves built up to be able to do so.

So that you are giving from a place of being full and filled up – not trying to give from a place of emptiness and depletion … From a place of already being overly exhausted in life.

Now there is no perfection in this. So many times we want to begin new habits with complete 100% Perfection. And then by day two – you realize that you made a choice that is not based on what your higher decided was best for you. So maybe you choose the pizza over the chicken and salad, or you choose to stay up late at night and watch TV when you know you need sleep.

 That happens to all of us occasionally. But the people who are consistent at self-care can recognize those moments and learn from them. They don't beat themselves up about it, they don't tell themselves they'll never get it right, instead they look at it and say okay I'm going to bring awareness to this moment and I'm going to use this as a learning experience. They notice and remind themselves once again why they want to make a different Choice next time. And they don't wait another whole week before they make that choice. As soon as they're aware, they begin making choices again that align with their goals from that moment on.

 So bring awareness to your actions. And bring awareness that at any given moment you have the ability to make a better choice next time.

Look deep into your own soul and say, “Hey, you are worth of all the care in the world! I’m gonna give you that gift.  You are worthy of love – and that love is going to start with me”

These are the skills I teach my private clients. I teach them how to show up for themselves and how to honor their very human emotions and their physical needs.

So friends I want you to take this podcast as an encouragement to really pay attention to what your body needs. Pay attention to what your mind and your heart needs. What are you needing that you're not giving yourself? Loving yourself is absolutely 100% Step 1 in being able to create a marriage that feels really really good to be in.

It's step one to falling in love with your partner all over again. First you have to fall in love with yourself. And drop the guilt about it. Show up for yourself. You deserve it. And you're a magnificent creation that has the strength and ability right now to do so.

 If you haven't joined my Facebook group JOYFUL LOVE:  a better marriage Circle, go join right now. We'll be talking about this stuff on the regular and you can ask questions and even have occasional coaching for you’re unique questions and circumstances in there. And if you're ready to work one-on-one with a coach to dive in deep, and begin healing on a whole new level, reach out to me and let's talk. Your first session is on me!

Otherwise,  I’m so glad you’ve found this podcast and I trust you’re getting a ton out of it! If you are … please head over to apple itunes and post a review so other people will find out about it!

Have a great day, friends I'll see you next week.

[a]Who stretches their body to keep it flexible who


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