I have to admit, it's taken me a while in life to see the difference between self-love and self-care. I assumed if you "did self-care" that automatically meant you loved yourself. Surely I wanted to believe it because self-care I can do - take a nap, apply a face mask, do my nails, write in a journal, hold boundaries that help me feel safe in the world, among others. When I did those things, and more, I decided that showed that I loved myself. Didn't those equal self-love? Um, no, they do not. Honestly, it was a little shocking when that first came into my mind. I thought if I completed little self-care things, mostly related to my body, it showed love for myself. What I've come to is see them as little gifts I give myself to feel a little better physically and sometimes, to feed my vanity.
Sel-love though, that's the deeper stuff, the deeper work. That's when we love ourselves no matter what our body looks or feels like, no matter how our hair looks, no matter what we ate, or if we exercised, no matter if we screwed up in a relationship or at work. We love ourselves for being us, for being ourselves, and loving our faults, places of growth and learning, not just where we may excel. We love ourselves straight into a mess we create and on our way out of it. We love ourselves when single, partnered, dating, or uncoupling. We love ourselves when we fail up or fail down. We love ourselves no matter what. We speak gently and kindly to ourselves, with care and attention. We give ourselves support and grace, as we do for others.
Do we need both self-care and self-love? Yes! Resoundingly, yes! If the self-love, the kind words to yourself and the gentle love inward feel hard to do, get yourself on a solid regimen of self-care. Show yourself how valuable you are. Discover how it feels to truly care for yourself. Get those steps in place and the self-love may just come along for the ride. Soon you'll feel loved inside and out.
Be in touch anytime and we can dig further into this.