The term self-love appears to have different expressions depending on the time, place, and person. It can be seen as choosing yourself first, taking a break when your body nudges you to do so, or splurging on a spa day. At the heart of it, self-love consists of the actions taken in the process of tending to one’s well-being. An even deeper aspect of self-love is how one defines the self. Self-love isn’t truly love when there is a lack of understanding in who the “self” actually is.
Oftentimes, people describe themselves based on what they do, who they are married to, and even where they went to school. When asked who are you? many respond with I am a spouse and parent of (insert number of children here). I am a writer, filmmaker, influencer, doctor or lawyer. I am a student or athlete. I am a New Yorker. The list goes on to include genders, personality types, religious denominations, financial status, awards, accolades and all sorts of demographics.
What most neglect to see and realize is that who you are is not found in a role or responsibility. It is not found in what is owned, earned, or the information stored in the hippocampus. The true self is not even the body. The true self is the person living inside of the body; it is the nonphysical, invisible essence existing within. This may seem strange to some and very familiar to others; no matter where you find yourself here are some simple truth ideas to consider for a deeper understanding of self and tips on how to actually love the real you.
The True Self
The self can be seen as the soul. It has the ability to think, emit emotion, and decide. Keeping this in mind, we can say that self-care is really soul-care. The soul impacts the way the body physically feels and is the place where decisions are made (ultimately impacting how life is experienced). The soul is powerful yet fragile henceforth the necessity of daily care and attention. Considering the self as the soul may very well change your entire self-care routine (for the better).
Mind & Emotion Check ins
Tending to the soul involves mental and emotional check –ins. How are you in your mind and emotions? This type of work may not come as easy as going for a new haircut or getting your nails done. It can be challenging confronting subjects you may seek to avoid or even pastimes you may need to let go of. The goal is to sit in a seat of clarity; checking in on your thoughts and feelings throughout the day is one way to maintain that sense of clarity.
Input & Output
What you put into the soul is usually what comes out, so some proactive self-care includes being mindful of your thinking patterns also known as self-talk. What you say to yourself on a regular basis has a direct impact on the soul (which is truly a sponge). This also includes media intake and the conversations you find yourself enaging in. As mentioned, the soul is powerful when it comes to the impact made through decision making yet it is fragile, as it can be influenced by both thoughts and external experiences.
The beauty is soul care is found in the effortless impact it has on the physical body, relationships, and other areas of life including career and finances. When the soul is taken care of the rest will follow. Take some time to truly seek and discover the “you” inside of you starting today.
For at least 10 minutes this week, consider how you see yourself and answer the following questions:
How have you defined the self?
How have you treated yourself when it comes to your mind (how you think), your emotions (how you feel), and how you show up in the world (your behavavior)?
What are 2-3 small ways you can tend to your self (soul) a bit better on a daily basis? (Feel free to start with mind-emotional check ins and input-output activities).
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.