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What is Self-Love?

Updated: Jan 28, 2020

And how is it different to Self-Care?


In this Post we explore the sister-sister relationship between self-love and self-care and I share a lil' self-love-witchy-story. We learn what self-love is + isn't, what self-love feels like, and top tips for developing your own sense of self-love.



Self-Love


[self-love]

NOUN


regard for one's own well-being and happiness.




Self-love is important to living well, happy + healthy. It influences who you choose to spend time with, who you pick for a partner, the image you project at work, and how you cope with challenges in life.





Sister-Sister...




Self-love and self-care are sisters, not singular. And while these two have a lot in common and might look similar on the surface, in reality (like most sisters!), they’re actually very different.


I like to think of Self-love as the ‘Big Sister’ and self-care as the ‘Little Sister’. We can learn a lot from our big sister; attitudes, perspectives + philosophies that will help us grow.


In this way, self-care borrows from self-love, to foster a healthy state of mind.








A lil’ Self-Love-Witchy-Story:


The biggest point I want to stress in this post, is that: Self-love is not something you do, it’s something you feel. And like all feelings, we are in constant flow. I read about self-love, practiced methods I found in books + articles, and still inside me tied deep was the feeling of self-loathe. I reached a point where I simply decided I was sick of never loving myself, feeling good enough, pretty enough, fit enough - you get the point.


Self-love is not something you do, it’s something you feel

One night, in my first pokey little one-bedroom flat, on a new moon (obviously), I decided to cast a self-love-spell: on myself, for myself. This was the first time I ever truly faced my self-loathing attitudes; a definite milestone in my self-love journey. From this point onwards, self-care became a massive part of my life. I started Yoga. I started Meditation. I started to practice loving myself. And then one day, I just got it. My mindset shifted.




You are Enough



You don’t need to cast a self-love spell, nor do you need to come from a state of self-loathe. Your journey is yours, but you must keep travelling. Read. Talk to people. Learn. Try new things. Discover. Keep searching, and one day you will just get it too. I encourage you to find + try out my tips below. Equally, find the further reading section - and find things on your own. This is your journey.




Anyone who practices Yoga will know, you try for months to nail that one pose that seems impossible. And then one day you just do it without trying - and you’re ecstatic! You want to keep practicing and practicing... From that moment on, you remember how to do this pose. But occasionally, you will lose your balance and fall. Sometimes your body will be stiff and inflexible. But you have a memory of what it feels like to be in the pose – and you know you have the ability within you to do it again.





What isn’t self-love


Self-love isn't conditional

It’s easy to mistake self-love for self-like. When you lose a few pounds or get your hair done, you like how you look - and you like yourself. When you achieve a big accomplishment – you like yourself. When you help someone – you like yourself.


But what when the opposite happens?


If you put on a few pounds, do you still look in the mirror with the love? Do you love yourself with messy hair and blemished skin? You see where this is going… What we often mistake for self-love is a conditional liking of the person we are.




What is self-love?


Unlike this ‘conditional-liking’ self-love is free of judgement. It is free of punishment and reward. It is free of conditions. In essence, self-love is self-acceptance.


Self-love is self-acceptance