Do you know the difference between self-love and self-care?
Ever wondered if there is a difference between the two?
Have you ever felt that something is missing in your spiritual practice?
There is a vast difference between self-love, self-care and self-indulgence.
Being clear on the difference between these three practices will help you get your spiritual practice into more alignment with who you really are and move you forward more authentically.
If you want a more profound spiritual practice, read on…
But first, let’s look at LOVE.
What love is not
If you have not yet viewed the introduction video blog, ‘Self-Love Versus Self-Indulgence‘, see it now.
Many of us deal every day with constant judgment from the vast majority of people around us, from our loved ones, our family, our friends and even people we don’t even know. Social norms and our culture also further dictates and judges us.
How can you be who you are when there is so much judgment all around you and everyone?!
And what does judgement have to do with love anyway?
Well, judgement is the opposite of love!
Read the blog, ‘The Truth About Judgement,” for more information on this.
So when you truly love someone, you hold no judgements about them. The same goes for when you love yourself.
To love yourself, you must accept who you are with NO judgments. That is a true expression of love for self. You are not judging yourself.
Self-Love is profoundly caring for self, not pampering.
I use to think that spoiling yourself with indulgences meant you loved yourself.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Indulging in yourself feels good, but it is only doing things that make you feel better, momentarily. Loving yourself is much deeper and a much more profound journey. Self-care is the act of doing something for yourself that expresses the love you have for yourself.
The Difference Between Self-Love and Self-Care
I use to have a very stressful job as an international teacher in a very high profile school. Even though I earned a lot of money and had everything a woman could want, I felt utterly empty.
I’d pamper myself, go to the spa every week, eat healthily, had an active yoga regime. Doing all these things, I was thinking that I was loving myself and taking care of myself. Ha!
However, none of this caring for myself helped me feel better long-term because I was practising self-care without FIRST getting connected with myself first. I had no self-love for myself.
If I had truly loved myself, I would never have stayed so long in a job that stressed me out so much. So no amount of yoga, smoothies, pedicures, massages were ever going to give me what I needed. Feeling drained and focused on surviving, I had no clue what I truly needed.
There are lots of people – maybe even you – who are doing the right thing, doing their yoga, doing their meditation, their green juice thing, yet you feel so lost even though on the outside you appear to be incredible ‘together’.
Many famous speakers and authors are advocating all this super zen and mindful stuff, too, but even some of those people are not living authentically. They are merely talking the talk, and deep down, they are a mess inside.
If this is you, then I have some excellent news for you! You just have to shift one critical thing.
Time to explore loving yourself deeply BEFORE you start DOING anything!
Let me tell you, I know. I’ve been there. After nine years of being in this high-stress JOB, I was utterly burnt out. Eventually, I left and returned to Canada, where I started the slow journey to nurturing myself.
I did this by taking time out for myself in a profoundly personal journey of self-love (at the time, I just knew I was recovering from burn-out).
Then, I started to explore things that made my heart and soul sing. Also, I gave myself something I never had before – TIME and lots of it! Uninterrupted time to explore my deepest passions with no plan or agenda.
What I was embarking on a real journey of self-love for the first time in my life.
I accepted myself and my situation, and I stopped living on a plan with conditions.
So how does self-care fit into all of this?
Often self-love and self-care are thought to mean the same thing, but they are VERY different from each other, and it is good to be clear on this.
Self-care is a result of self-love. Self -love must come first.
The journey to self-love started when you gave up the images you think you should have for yourself. You then give up the masquerade you are performing when you begin to let go of old beliefs about who you thought/think you were/are.
When you start just to accept yourself, warts and all, the journey gets more comfortable and lighter.
That is when you will start to know more clearly what you need and who you are.
After feeling love for yourself, you are more able to take care of yourself through self-care authentically.
Self-care comes after self-love.
And it should feel fantastic because you are doing things connected to who you are. You will know what you need at your core level and so then whatever your do will have profound benefit.
True self-care is powerful when it comes from a strong foundation of self-love.
The only way you are ever going to get real with yourself and off the bandwagon of dancing to other people’s music is to spend quality time with yourself.
As Eckhart Tolle would say, ‘you have to be fully present with yourself.’
Quality time is what you need, uninterrupted and with NO agenda.
Furthermore, you need to allow this focus on presence to run. It’s the course for a length of time and has no conditions or expectations.
Virtually you are genuinely connecting with yourself and showing yourself great love by doing this. From this will come connection and the peace you have been yearning.
Once you have connected with yourself through self-love, then you will naturally start to express that love for self through self-care.
After self-love, you will gravitate to activities and people who make your soul sing and give you the energy you never thought you could have. You may even discover a whole new you or talent you never knew you possessed.
Check out my free downloadable ebook called ‘Stepping into You – Starter Kit,’ which has loads of great ideas on how to take your journey to self-love and care even further.
Do you have a story to share about your struggles with self-love or self-care?
Please tell me about your journey towards self-love below in the comments. I would love to hear from you!
If you like anything you have read here today, please pass on the magic and share this with your friends.