Along your journey of awakening and self-realization, you may at some point seek clarification on the difference between self-love and the ego. The ego can be defined as your sense of personal importance, your identity defined by your thoughts patterns and conditioning. Self-love can be defined as feeling positive emotions about yourself, accepting yourself completely and embodying this feeling with self-care. Both of these perspectives of self are actually necessary in their own way but self-love is definitely a more enjoyable, beneficial and preferred perspective to cultivate. Within this article we shall explore some of the key differences between self-love and the ego; we shall also explore why it is that both these different aspects are part of being human and how integrating the ego and intentionally cultivating self-love can improve your experience of life.
The Key Differences between Healthy Self-Love and Ego
In order to gain a better understanding of both these concepts and their role in our lives we can understand some of the key differences between them:
- Self-love is Motivated by Higher-Self Perspective while Ego is Motivated by Conditioned Mental Constructs
One of the clearest differences is the motivation that energizes these perspectives. The ego is the voice in the mind that tries to define who you are and rationalize your actions according to mental patterns; your mental images and expectations of who you are. Your ego seeks to control and always wants to be right, it can often take on the voice of internal judgments and self-critique. In contrast to the ego, self-love is the voice of compassion and acceptance of yourself wherever you are at in life, it is the knowledge that you are worthy of life and love no matter what you look like, achieve and think. Self-love is the acceptance and celebration of yourself, it is knowing your deeper eternal self beyond personality; being able to see and know yourself from your higher-self perspective.
- Ego is Fortified by Comparison with Others while Self-Love is Nurtured through Consulting your Inner Guidance
Even though the voice of the ego may seem to come from inside your own mind, it provides a narrative that is constantly affected by subconscious beliefs and indoctrination that we have adopted from the world around us. The beliefs that you have adopted through your life experiences; often from society, culture and your formative upbringing. When we believe the world around us is all there are we constantly defining our sense of self in comparison to expectations, events, other people and our successes in the world. We compare our success and self to others (we can also learn from this process as it is not all bad but consciousness, balance and integration is necessary). Self-love in comparison with how the ego is formed; speaks truly from a space of listening to your innermost feelings and knowing, by following your inner guidance, intuition and spirit you can find your personal keys to experiencing deep self-love.
- The Ego is Focused on Survival and Self-Love is Focused on Thriving
The ego serves a function of self-protection and boundaries; it employs us to meet our basic survival needs. The ego can push us to seek new or more. An unconscious ego can cause one to experience life through a perspective that can leave one feeling rushed, competitive, judgmental and anxious. Self-love is the knowledge that we are worthy of both our needs and desires and it gives us the energy to follow our heart and soul passions, allowing us to thrive and realize the highest nature of our experience. Self-love is patient and allows you to trust that you are where you need to be and can help you to see the benefits and growth opportunities in every situation.
- An Unconscious Ego can Result in Disconnection while Self-Love can Result in Authentic Connection
The ego perspective looks at the self as separate from other people and nature, it focuses on the differences and comparison; this can manifest the negative trait of narcissism, where one becomes completely self-centered and seeks to be better than others rather than simply growing and succeeding for their own inner joy. Self-love is about accepting yourself; experiencing clarity surrounding the highest self version of yourself that you wish to embody. There is no limit to self-love, you can always take better care of yourself and deepening the love for yourself filling your cup in ways that overflow into authentic heart-centered connections with others and the world.
Tips for Integrating Ego and Cultivating Self-Love
There is of great importance in becoming conscious of the workings of your ego, in understanding how ego is a natural part of being human but it how it can also cause harm when we are unconscious. Self-love combined with a healthy dose of conscious ego can allow us the experience of achieving our greatest desires. The key to experiencing this balance lies in the conscious integration of your ego and intentional cultivation of self-love. Here are some suggestions that you can look into further:
Suggestions for integrating the ego:
- Shadow work
- Exploring the importance of boundaries
- Letting go of comparison
Suggestions for cultivating self-love:
- Trusting yourself
- Being honest with yourself
- Metta mediation
- Guided meditation
Ego serves some basic functions in your life but you do not need to identify as your ego completely. You will reap the rewards if your focus is self-love and if you take the time to align with your heart and soul. With a little bit of conscious ego and continually tended self-love you can fully enjoy and explore the individual and soul expression that is you.
__Written by Music Of Wisdom team