Self Love: what is that exactly anyway? Is it pedicures? Is it bath time? Is it that piece of chocolate you’ve been denying yourself? I’m going to say no and here’s why.  When it comes to a self love, it’s a matter of heart. Your heart lives in a world of feelings. Your heart speaks a language of emotions.


Self Love

Self love, sometimes referred to as self care, is about feeling your feelings and taking care of yourself. Feeling your feelings is an act of self-love.

Heartfelt self-love includes demonstrating maturity, understanding, and compassion for yourself. You demonstrate maturity by taking time to understand your feelings and their impact. You empathize with your heart, showing you understand it.  Your compassion is reflected in your attitude of acceptance.

Self-love is paying as much attention as needed. It means feeling what needs to be felt. It means refusing to abuse yourself. You refrain from taking out aggression or shame on yourself.


Self Indulgence

While self indulgence may feel like self love, or self care, it is usually an avoidance mechanism of dealing with your feelings. Things like going shopping, drinking with friends, taking a nap, or giving yourself a pedicure are really all ways we are avoiding feeling our feelings. Self indulgence is not bad, and can sometimes help you take the step to self love, but it is important to know the difference.


What is the difference?

When I talk about self love I’m talking about feeling your feelings. Your heart speaks to you through how you feel. To neglect, dismiss or avoid how you feel is to ignore your heart. Your heart in some ways is like a two year old. When a two year old gets hurt it wants to be loved and comforted. Say the little girl falls and scrapes her knee on the sidewalk. You go to her. You take a look a the knee and see it’s fine. Then you pick her up and hold letting her know she’ll be okay. You don’t relieve the girl’s pain by taking her to the store and buying her a new pair of shoes. You don’t relieve the pain of a young child by buying them things. No, you give them the love, attention and comfort they need. To buy a crying two year old a new pair of shoes to make them feel better seems ridiculous. But sometimes we substitute material things or pampering for good old fashion love, care and attention. When want needs to happen is give our hurting heart the love, attention and comfort it needs. I’m guilty, I confess.

But I also know that material goods and pampering at the end of the day don’t work if  my heart is hurt. Those goods and pampering are distraction and unsatisfying substitutes. It’s hard for a new shirt to make you feel understood. This is where the difference lies. Does the act make you feel understood and cared about. Do you feel more loved and whole when you are done?

There is nothing wrong with self indulgence. Sometimes a pedicure, bath or a piece of chocolate is the perfect thing and just what you need. The point is self indulgence doesn’t make you feel more whole and loved. It’s good to be aware of this. If you are doing self indulgence to feel more loved and whole. Then perhaps it is time to reorient yourself and move towards self love.

If you want to move towards self love, one of the simplest things to do is watch my free masterclass, The 5 Insights my clients are using to free themselves of Toxic Shame. Click the link below to register.

Shame is NOT a life sentence, so free yourself.

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