The Difference Between Self-Care and Self-Love

The Difference Between Self-Care and Self-Love

The Difference Between Self-Care and Self-Love

Today I feel the need to write about something that has transformed my life completely. Something that -I am sure- will also change the life of many others. If you have not experienced the wonderful world of Self-love yet, you will discover that knowing the difference between Self-care and Self-love can completely transform your life. I guarantee it. 

Probably, you have already heard that it is very important to take care of ourselves. I am sure that you’ve heard that we must invest some money on doing the things that we love. Don’t get me wrong, going to the gym, looking good, receiving a massage and doing our hair are all marvelous things. After all, our body is the sacred temple we inhabit and it deserves our attention and care. But what happens when we focus all our attention on this but we never learn to truly love ourselves? When this happens, we feel empty. It doesn’t matter how many times we go to the spa or where we go on holiday. In spite of our travels and fancy restaurants, the feeling of emptiness just doesn’t go away. That’s the moment in which we realize that something is missing and -understanding that external things will never be able to fill that hole- we start looking for an answer within ourselves. 

In general, we feel the urge to search for Self-love when we are in times of “crisis”. When our lives are not working out the way we had expected and everything seems to be chaotic. However, it is not necessary to go through a crisis to start walking the path to Self-care and Self-love. Any time is a good time to re-discover who we are and learn to truly honor ourselves. 

Since we are children, adults teach us to compare ourselves to everyone else and so we learn to use external points of reference to measure our self-worth. That’s how the self-sabotage begins. We learn to blame, judge and condemn ourselves. We criticize ourselves harshly, we convince ourselves that we are not good enough and then -full of frustration- we start perceiving ourselves as “failures”. Unfortunately, this attitude makes it impossible for us to recognize our own talents and gifts, and makes us lose the ability to value our own successes. Once this happens and we are only capable of seeing the good in other people -and not in ourselves-, we start searching for approval externally when, in fact, the only place where we can find our true value is within ourselves. 

When we start to examine, nurture and take care of ourselves internally, that’s when we realize that the piece that was missing was nothing but a simple word: LOVE! Self-love! 

Loving ourselves is just learning to pay attention to that inner voice called intuition that speaks to us constantly. It is believing and trusting that inner truth completely. Self-love is understanding that the path we walk is the right one for us, as it is different from other people’s paths of self-discovery and it is the only one that can lead us to that awakening of Consciousness which will create our new reality. Self-love is knowing that all the answers are within ourselves and understanding that our truth is the only truth. It is accepting this truth in spite of what the rules and norms of society -in their intention to force us into a robotic existence in which we are obsessed with the perception of others and we must neglect the well-being of our own souls- consider “right”. 

Self-love is dedicating some time every day -even if it’s just five minutes- to ourselves. It is sitting in silent contemplation of the miracle of our own company and understanding that we are extraordinary, even if we are not able to achieve the goals that we “were supposed to achieve” in order to be admired and accepted. Self-love is living in the present. It is loving every moment, special and unique. It is listening to our bodies and honoring their needs. Self-love is finding that inner voice that speaks our truth and reveals the divinity that exists inside ourselves and connects us to the Whole. Self-love is understanding that our energy is distinctive and acknowledging that we will never be like other people. Instead, we will walk on our own path and we will leave our own particular -authentic and divine- footprint. 

Above all things, Self-love is believing in ourselves. It is setting boundaries with others -firmly, but lovingly (and never from our ego!)- so we can respect and prioritize our own soul in order to let it be. Self-care is honoring and respecting the sacred temple we inhabit, listening to its needs and maintaining its balance throughout the path of love. We can achieve all of this by changing the belief system that rules our mind, which we had nurtured for our entire lives. When we finally recognize the thoughts that limit us, we will discover that most of our beliefs -the ones that have created our reality- are not our own, but someone else’s. I invite you to consider this and start walking on the path of Self-love today!

 

About the Author

Carmen Vasquez is the author of inspirational and motivational articles that always send positive messages to people. Carmen is a yoga teacher, kribayan yogui, and holistic therapist. She is the founder, along with her husband, of Journey Angels and Protected by Angels Foundation, her main website is www.journeyangels.com; both main purpose is to inspire people to transform and develop their lives. She’s a mom of three beautiful angels and is happily married; the family live on the Pacific coast of the U.S.A. 

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