Where self-care fixes and addresses problems, self-love is the deeper reminder that we’re not broken and, therefore, there’s nothing to fix.

Self-care can help our bodies, our spirits, our minds, our bank accounts, and the overall landscape of our lives, but self-love is what’s going to help with how we feel. Both sides of the coin are interrelated, and feeding one will help with the other, but self-love won’t run the risk of falling down a slippery slope.

Self-love is self-correcting, whereas self-care still hints that there can always be more, and we can spend our whole life chasing.

Self-love feeds and informs self-care; self-care doesn’t always do the same for self-love.

Self-care is having that overdue ugly cry; self-love will be cleaning up afterward.

So despite reading all the books in the wellness section of the bookstore, doing all the workouts, using all the creams, soaking in all the Epsom salts, and drinking all the wine, work toward realizing that you are wonderful as you are, and these are bonuses and maintenance but not required for you to feel like you deserve love; they happen because you deserve love.

To have self-love also involves loving others and receiving love from others. Those are past the point of self-care and are important to acknowledge.

Self-care won’t make you love yourself; it should come from the fact that you already do.

Adapted from an excerpt of HOW TO BE LOVE(D): Simple Truths for Going Easier on Yourself, Embracing Imperfection & Loving Your Way to a Better Life by Humble the Poet (2022) with permission from the publisher.