I used to confuse self-care with self-love. I thought that if I took myself to the day spa, took regular healing baths, bought myself flowers and gifts, that it somehow signaled self-love. I was wrong.
Our understanding of what constitutes self-love is closely tied to how we received love growing up. Some of us experienced love as having a neat, clean, and organized home where all our physical needs were met. Some of us experienced it as material gifts, others as experiences. Some of us experienced love as physical protection and embrace, while others as support for our intellectual growth.
How we experienced love in childhood is reflected in our deep subconscious even if in our conscious minds we desire love in the ways we never received. It took me decades to come to the understanding that self-care, although very important, is no substitute for self-love.
So what is self-love then you might ask?
S E L F L O V E is...
SELF-REGULATION: knowing when to step back as an act of kindness to our own nervous system
BOUNDARIES: knowing when and how to communicate our interpersonal limits
SELF-COMPASSION: living with an open heart towards ourselves, letting go of the perfectionism and self-judgement
SELF-RESPECT: honoring our own promises to ourselves as an act of profound kindness
SELF-MASTERY: cultivating a deep knowledge of our strengths and triggers as guiding principles for a compassionate life-design.
This photo was taken 2 years ago today in Bali where I had retreated to heal my heart. This is where I discovered true S E L F L O V E for the very first time. Grief is one of the most powerful portals I know with the potential to crack our hearts wide open to ourselves, our humanity, and the tender beauty of life.
G R A T I T U D E
Trauma impacts our ability to prioritize and practice true self-love. If you've been struggling with self-love, you are not alone, we all get lost from time to time on this journey. We aren't meant to do this alone, go ahead and book a consultation with me today and find your way back to SELF-LOVE!