Self-love and self-care are so intricately connected, they are inseparable — like a loom weaving, they cross over and under each other tightly, to make something beautiful and whole.
So, how is self-love different from self-care?
You can get a sense of what it means to be self-loving if you imagine what it was like in your own childhood. What made you feel loved? Did you feel more loved by getting a toy you wanted, or by being seen and valued for who you are? When you were upset, did you feel more loved by being given a cookie and told to watch TV, or by receiving gentle and compassionate attention?
Self-love is accepting and loving who you are, as you are. It means loving all of yourself — regardless of the balance of your bank account, relationship status, where you live, your weight, or your number of Facebook friends. It’s a deep and abiding love and appreciation for yourself from the inside. — NOT from anything exterior.
Of course, we can sow the seeds of self-love through our self-care, but the best thing we can ever do for ourselves is to learn to deeply and completely love and accept ourselves.
Self-love takes commitment!
Almost two weeks ago now, I woke up at my usual Spirit Time of probably 4:00 AM (I try not to look at the clock). Spirit always tells me I need to pee (which will come in handy when I'm old) at that time and lately I’ve been able to go right back to sleep. But on that day, I immediately WOKE up and started worrying.
Why? Well, our ten-year-old vehicle is in its death throes and isn't worth fixing. We paid it off five years ago, so we can’t complain, but New Brunswick winters are brutal on vehicles.
I've written before about The Financial Conversation, but this time hubby and I had an honest, non-confrontational and only slightly uncomfortable talk about money.
So now you get why I woke up. And instead of turning to my journal, I went back to my old pattern of panicking and plunged right into work. Of course, when you’re panicking, it’s quite impossible to be productive. It was a pretty brutal morning, but without even knowing it, friends and colleagues helped lift me up.
Later that morning, I was reminded of something my coach said in reference to my financial challenges, “Spirit is telling me that... this too is happening FOR you.”
YES! That’s exactly what I heard the morning before… Spirit is making this happen to FORCE me to STEP INTO MY POWER and be the Wild Woman I'm asking YOU to be. I have been putting my toe on the edge of The Big Leap and then pulling it back because I don’t trust my own wings to support me.
I talked to my hubby at lunch and told him that I couldn't even think about looking for a job until September. I can’t allow myself to scatter my energy and go into fear when I am so close to success.
This time, my rising up from the pit I was in in May truly does feel different. I have so much work to do to create courses and content and update my website, I've been berating myself for spending so much time doing other things in July. Now, however, I see that because I decided to do the 7-Day Wild Woman Journaling Challenge on a “lark” I’ve gotten so much confidence and confirmation that THIS is what I’m meant to be doing, not working in an office 9 to 5. And, I manifested a lovely group of people to help and be helped by too. So for everyone who has been there for me, thank you...
So, I’m done beating myself up about money! I'm going to put the energy that I spent worrying about not having it into manifesting it. Hubby doesn’t want me to quit because he has faith in me. It’s time I had faith in me. I’ve put on my own oxygen mask, and I’m not going to stop moving forward.
So, for this week, I ask you to be aware of your own skipping record of self-abuse. When you catch yourself criticizing yourself, say, “CANCEL. DELETE. RESET” and then replace that nasty, completely unhealthy thought with a forgiving and loving thought. Imagine you are talking to that little girl inside of you, or to your own child. Replace the criticism with uplifting words of love and encouragement.
And then go outside, take off your shoes and feel the earth under your feet, or take yourself (and your dog) out for a walk. You will feel grounded and ready to move on.
LOVE YOUR SELF and CARE FOR YOUR SELF
kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students to help them unlock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women in realizing their true identity as wild women, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)