Self Care vs Self Love
There is a difference. Self care... what a lovely idea. Especially for women. We tend to not take the time for ourselves, but constantly pour out onto others. The needs of our families and at times friends, takes priority and when it's all said and done, they may be little time left for us. Or so we think. As it turns out, much of what we do as women, the constant giving, serving, working is unnecessary. We only think we have these obligations. Most women do for others as a weird way of receiving love and acceptance. Self love... what an unthinkable idea, at least in some circles. I mean, love yourself?? What kind of self centered article am I writing anyway, you might ask. Isn't that a little, much? Self love? Perhaps. However, in the words of Jesus, "love your neighbor as yourself"... How on earth can you love your neighbor as yourself, if in fact, you do not know how to love yourself? Maybe you don't hold fast to the writings of scripture and so this statement is lost on you. No matter where you sit in the faith camp, the fact of the matter is everyone can agree on one thing, love is a missing piece to our world's puzzle. We cannot give what we do not know or have, nor can we give what we do not understand. Self care is a phrase touted a lot today as in 'get some me time, get your nails done, massage even purchase an extravagant oil, just for you'. Self love is so very different. It’s an agape, grace filled love over our very souls. True self love is different than the admonishing statement in 2 Timothy 3, being a lover of self, by the way. That type of love is philautoi love, a friendly, affectionate love. The love mentioned in loving your neighbor, as yourself, is agapēseis, or "the highest form of love, charity or the love of God for man and of man for God". If you are striving to love your neighbor, it's the highest form of love. In order to do this, you must first understand what it is to love, agape, yourself. You see, many of you think loving your neighbor starts by doing works for them, serving, reaching out. Baking a meal for heaven's sake. Nope. Not a chance. That will create bitterness and resentment. Trust me. Hairdresser for 100 years, I saw a lot of bitterness and resentment come out on the follicles of well meaning people. The hair don't lie. Imagine with me for a moment, a world that loved themselves with the highest form of love first, then, gave and served with this fueling them... If one loves themselves with the highest form of love, they are relentless with their standards. Young adults, who love themselves, would never compromise a one night stand because they value themselves so much more than that. They seek out the best relationships, the highest values in their peers. People with an agape love for themselves instinctively know they are worth so much, precious in God's sight, as it were. Women, who love themselves, would pursue their calling instead of sacrifice their dream for the sake of societal standards. They know indeed there is a high calling on them and these women love themselves enough to not allow opinions and judgements of others to stand in the way of what God Himself has called them to. When you look at a gorgeous piece of art, it is only gorgeous and as valuable as the one who purchased it, correct? When you look at yourself, you are only as valuable as you deem yourself to be. Our God paid a high price for you, however, that means absolutely zero if you cannot receive that gift and accept it as truth. Self love means you are ruthless with your values, your standards, your purpose. It means that rather than ask, what's the big deal if I _____, what is wrong with____? The question people who love themselves would rather ask is, what's right with this? How will this benefit my soul, my mind and my spirit? Self love means your rebellious. You rebel against the status quo of accepting mediocre for yourself or your family. You rebel against what society has created as the model for you in every way, from what you eat, to what you listen to, even, the home you curate for yourself. The voices you allow to speak into your life, yea, you're relentless with that too. Self love looks everything like the standard a loving and perfect God set up for us. I don't know what you've heard about God, or what He's like. But I can tell you, if you struggle with self love, then likely, you've not heard truth. Someone asked me what was the difference between self care and self love. Self care can take on an air of selfishness. Self care becomes necessary when we pour out onto others out of obligation and sacrifice. Self love, oh my friend, this is a whole other level. When we are filled with a love that is the highest form of love, we are then able to pour out, and frankly, not need a self care day. Rather than out of obligation, we are now able, and willing to pour into others with the love that is oozing from our very souls.