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self-care ≠ self-love

Hey y’all!

Ya got Rachel back again with the skinny on something we could all use more of: love. Not just any kind of love though, we’re speaking on self-love.

It’s not often we get to speak deeply about what self-love really looks like. In a society and time where so much emphasis is put on the individual–individual success and expression–ya might think we would be encouraged to talk about it more! I can remember when Tracy first launched Middle Waters, asking me to join her in her Rooted in Self Love training. I responded with an abrupt… “but I already DO love myself!” This was, and is, a truth. But I didn’t mention how hard it could sometimes be to do so.

When I think about what self-love really means for me–how it shows up in my life–it is sustaining myself to persistently interrupt and disrupt self-judgment. Last week, I introduced myself by talking about ways I’ve learned to decolonize my sense of self (hint: we can’t love ourselves until we know ourselves). That socialization into binary thinking later in life became my internal critic, the soundbite “I’m not _____ enough,” a big brick wall to being full. FULL UP in love, respect, admiration, joy, commitment, grace…for myself.

In letting go of either/or, right versus wrong, dichotomous thinking, I was able to see a more complex and full version of me. A version of me I wanted to sit with and get to know. The version of me that allowed me to restart unfinished projects or rebuild damaged relationships without fear. A version that was dreaming again…

Last week, I alluded to a long journey out of that head space (and perhaps into a heart space), but if I’m keeping it completely 100 with y’all, I’ve only just begun. This thing is an ongoing journey.

“We’ve only just begun…”

(Please feel free to take a Glenn Jones R&B love moment for yourself right chea!)

In carrying on, a lesson I’ve learned is to recognize when I may be–SHAMING and BLAMING–myself rather than–RESPECTING and AFFIRMING–myself for a whole multitude of things. The biggest culprit? How I choose to spend my time. I’ll