I stumbled across this question last week.

What would a person who loved themselves do?

Because, really, what WOULD a person who loved themselves do?

Every time I reach for the Haribo. Every time I skip exercise. Every time I work longer than I want, or consider buying something I don’t need with money I don’t have, or scroll through Instagram or Facebook instead of doing literally anything else.

What would a person who loved themselves do?

And it goes deeper; what about the time you need to decide between eggs or porridge for breakfast, or the shampoo scent from the shop, or even what colour socks you put on. What would someone who loved themselves do?

You get the answer almost immediately, and it’s calm and it’s neutral and it’s clear, once you start listening:

“Go to the toilet. Stop working and go.”

“Put the phone down and go outside”

“Play with your child.”

“State your boundaries. That’s not an acceptable way to be treated”

“Say you don’t agree.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one who can apply those  answers to parts of their life, but yet how often do we ignore it?

The great thing about this question is it’s subtlety. It’s not asking, “If you loved yourself, what would you do?”. There’s no pressure for you to perform in any given way, or assume that you cannot love yourself (even if you feel that’s true) It’s not asking you “What would Beyonce or Jesus or the Dalai fucking Lama do?”. It’s asking, what would a person – any person, and it really doesn’t matter who because it could be anyone – who loved themselves do.

The suggestion is that you could be that person who loves themselves, as much as any one else on the planet. Which is pretty nice, hey?

I’ve been asking myself this question multiple times a day for the past week to great effect.

The best part is that The Person Who Loves Themselves isn’t a yoga-loving, smudge-stick-wielding hippie. I haven’t  been to a yoga class, and I’ve certainly not smudged anywhere. I also haven’t cracked out the Birkenstocks and tie-dyed harem pants.

(Not that  I’m against any of those things – I love a bit of yoga, I’m always game to try anything including wafting burning dried herbs around my house, and I can appreciate a love of loose crotch and rudimentary dyeing processes as much as a professional hippie. And  that should be a legitimate job title.)

But I’ve got outside during work hours (GASP). I’ve gone to bed at a more reasonable time. I’ve put the fucking phone down and picked up a book instead.

I’ve even chosen to eat the things my body wanted. Yes, sometimes that it chocolate, but more often it’s cooking from scratch. Case in point, last week while my husband was away, I realised I had no pre-made meals for myself. My daughter was having a spaghetti bolognese which my husband has made the week before leaving and popped into the freezer. I had nothing.

So I asked myself the question, “What would someone who loves themselves do?”. And I made one from scratch. It took 15 minutes from start to finish. And I had plenty to eat the next day.

And yes, I felt pretty smug.

Holding my hands up, however, I am NOT perfect at this because HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH nope.

I still scoffed my body weight in shit food, just not all the time. I still worked a little too hard, but I managed to dial it down (and I talked myself out of a midnight workathon finish because something wasn’t totally ready for a client call – instead, I contacted the client and told them it wasn’t ready, and gave them a new date. FYI, they were cool with that, and so was I).

So, what WOULD a person who loves themselves – truly loves themselves – do? You might find that you start to get the answers you need to hear.