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  • Writer's pictureMairin McCracken

The Huddle #43: Is Love Blind?

After a few gorgeous sunny days, the fog has rolled in and I’m back in Gravity Blanket & Netflix mode. As I write this, I’m sitting in front of my space heater eating a bowl of “Oreo O’s.” That’s right- there is a cereal made out of actual Oreo’s. And I’m eating it. How did we get here? 

In one of the recent Huddles I mentioned the Tim Ferris podcast episode in which he and Brene Brown discuss the fine line between self love and complacency. Where’s the line between giving ourselves a break and pushing ourselves to meet our goals, especially when we’re lacking motivation? 

If you’re like me, you could be experiencing a little mid-year slump (I think in school years, not calendar years, because I’m a child). Your body is saying “Let’s hibernate!” and your mind is asking, “Is love blind, or will they walk away from each other forever?!” Must. Watch. Next. Episode...

Those of you who’ve seen “Love is Blind” on Netflix know it’s addictive. For those of you who haven’t, the premise of the show is that couples meet each other with a wall between them, date, fall in love, and get engaged. All without seeing each other. Ridiculous, sure, but I’ve got to say that I think Netflix is onto something here! And that’s not just because of how dreamy it sounds to date without having to pull a brush through my hair or get out of my sweatpants. This idea of choosing to love first, and judge later is something I’ve rarely, if ever, tried, but it sounds intriguing. 

In most of my relationships, my eyes are usually wide open with judgment long before I make a true connection. When it comes to my relationship with myself, I’m constantly calibrating my self-acceptance based off of my actions- looking at all I accomplished this day/week/month (or lack thereof), do I deserve my love? 

Coming back to self-love/acceptance vs. discipline, I wonder if we can look at it as an order of operations question rather than a process of elimination. As Brene Brown argues, we’ve got to have both. Often times, we reward ourselves for good behavior, and punish ourselves for the bad, ie“ I went to the gym today, so I can eat this entire sleeve of Girl Scout Cookies!” Or, in reverse order, “ I ate an entire sleeve of Thin Mints, so I booked a Barry’s class for tomorrow.” This makes sense- it’s how we train our dogs, our kids, and our Alexa’s. But I’m starting to realize that, although effective in the short term, this reactionary type of self-care can be a vicious cycle.

Here’s my proposition. In the conversation between you and you, in the moments when you’re asking something of yourself, can you establish a little love before the ask? Before negotiating, before tackling the to-do list, before trying to turn off the Netflix and get up off the couch, can you connect with yourself somehow? This doesn’t have to be anything major. It can be a two-second mental “I love you” or placing a hand on your heart and taking one deep breath. And if you want to get really crazy, you could try this with other relationships in your life. We’ve got nothing to lose from showing a little bit of blind love every now and then.    

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