In a world of social media, we are exposed to a lot more than we ever asked for and much more than the capacity of our human brains. We are connected to endless streams of information. Our minds are continually processing data, our heartbeats are barely keeping up with the rhythm of reality, and our heads are overloaded with news. Needless to say, the exposure to this magnitude of information has two sides: one is ‘enlightenment’ and the other side is ‘loss.’ Social media comes with a negative connotation, an appearance of a lack of self-care. But it’s not bad after all. One benefit of social media today is now we can get a much better glimpse of people’s lives. We’ve managed to win front row seats into lives of strangers, loved ones and, fortunately, those we call heroes.
This level of access to other people’s personal lives has also given way to promotion and motivation. The internet has granted such deep level of access to people’s privacy that some have capitalized on this type of access by influencing and making an impact in their communities and around the world. Social media is only evil depending on how you use it and the purpose of use.
The impact of social media
One of the impacts social media has is that it has given favor to the promotion of the ‘Self’ concept, whether people are having trouble understanding the ideologies of ‘Self’ or the concept of ‘self’ is perverted. Narcissism isn’t a crime, but it can be perverted, meaning power lies in each one’s hands, and actions depend on motives.
There are two ideas that are driving the ‘Self’ concept: 1. Self Love 2. Self Care. As much as we love ourselves, each one of us misuses these ideas often. There is a reasonable gap and a fair distinction between Self-Love and Self-Care. Although they both carry the same concept, they have a different impact and one purpose, which is to fulfill ‘Self.’
What is Self-Love and Self-Care?
I am going to try and to explain both ideas in the simplest form to the best of my knowledge. We use both ideas most of the time, and it’s essential that we understand the differences for our benefit and those around us.
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What is self-care? Someone who practices self-care dedicates time and finance for their well-being. i.e., caring about yourself could mean exercising for a healthy living lifestyle and that is very important. For some it could mean, eating well and respecting their diet for the sake of their health. Self-care involves spending time and resources on what brings happiness, joy, and growth. For some it could mean, spending money on a lovely holiday, going on vacation. Self-care could mean buying yourself that lovely house near the beach to complement your lifestyle or spending money on a nice car or a beautiful watch.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV
Moreover, for some it could mean, putting time aside to finish that course or degree. Self-care could mean committing to therapy or rehabilitation. Self-care is a sacrifice for a better change. It is a process of becoming a better version of you and changing what you don’t like — fixing what is broken — doing what nobody else can do for you. That is self-care.
However, self-love is strictly different, much more straightforward and ordinary then self-care. What is self-love? Self- love is the appreciation and acceptance of the reality of who you are as a human being. There are a few things in life we can change, but there are lots we can’t change. Some have become slaves of ‘trying to change’ the unchangeable. The majority of us sometimes grapple with accepting the reality of who we are. Many labor tirelessly to change their reality, but that’s not self-love. Self-love is a joyful gift to self.
Self-love is about accepting yourself for who you are as a person not whom you are trying to be. It is not about creating something you would love, no no. It is not about becoming somebody or something you would admire or accept. Self-love is about coming to peace with yourself. Reconciling with that side of you or that reality of your life of which you might be ashamed. Anyone who exercises self-love is someone who is not striving to be somebody they are not. Self-love is becoming ok with yourself. Self-love is accepting your weaknesses, your imperfections, and your defects. It is about celebrating your real self. Also, it’s about taking pride in who you are because your Creator takes pride in you. There is beauty in weakness and brokenness. Nobody knows you as you know yourself. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to love/accept yourself.