nur·ture: to care for and encourage the growth or development of. To encourage, promote, stimulate, develop, foster, cultivate, boost, contribute to, assist, help, abet, strengthen, fuel.
“Do you love yourself?” I often hear people ask. “You’ve got to love yourself!” And almost always, the answer I hear is, “Yes, I love myself!” This to me is a good example of how the great and powerful word “love” is overused and has lost its meaning. I think a more appropriate question would be, “Do you nurture yourself?” Because that’s what love is. It’s not just standing around with warm, fuzzy feelings floating around in your brain for someone else or for yourself. It’s making an effort, taking the time and doing the work to nurture.
After completing my 10 Day Juice Fast, I can say in complete honesty that I love myself more than I ever have. I know for sure because I feel the love and appreciation resonating throughout my body. It feels amazing and it’s letting me know. Regardless of what your belief system is, whether you believe that humans were created by a higher power or not, no one can deny that the body is a living organism, and all living organisms function “better” (for lack of a better word) when they are nurtured. I shake my head at people who claim to love themselves, yet they turn the organism they dwell in, their bodies, into addicts of nicotine, alcohol, sugar and grease. We can even include the mind, which can be nurtured with deep, creative works such as poignant, intelligent books, art and music, yet some people who claim to love themselves only feed their mind “junk food” like shallow, stupid or hostile creative works. They also feed themselves with “junk people” as I wrote about in a poem once.
The funny thing about humans is that they know the difference between what nurtures and what harms. They may not like to admit it, and they may be very good at lying to themselves about it, but deep down we’re all programmed with that inescapable conscience that knows what we’re doing is positive or negative. Strong or weak.
Do you love yourself? Of course you do! Everybody knows the right answer to that question! But here’s a tougher one: Do you nurture yourself? Think it over and have an honest heart-to-heart with your own body. It’ll tell you the truth.
“Do you love yourself?” the question
Is so often asked
“Of course!” the answer’s said with a
Smile that expertly masks
A body that is not nurtured
It’s slow and brain is fogged
Black tar coating lungs and grease
Within arteries clogged
An irritated attitude
Frustrated and hostile
“Yes, I love myself!” some say
Despite all of the bile
That does reside within them, that
Love quickly turns to hate
When they don’t get their way, they grow
Offended and irate
And all because they’re weakened by
The lack of nurturing
The failure to treat their body
Like it’s a Queen or King
To love thyself means to encourage
Your own health and strength
To stimulate, develop, foster
Go to any length
To sacrifice in order to
Fuel love’s demanding fire
To not just say the concept but
To work, to do, perspire
And when the work is done, you won’t
Need to answer the question
Your glowing skin with pinkish hue
Will serve as your expression
Your wide awake and alert eyes
Will provide your reply
Your focused thinking, energy
Cheer and joy will reply
Love yourself? Of course you do!
Who’d admit they do not?
But do you nurture yourself? That
Will take a bit more thought