Self love, or love of self. Most would say these two phrases mean exactly the same thing. I have come to learn that there is a distinct difference. I equate love of self with ego. When love of self is in control I am focused on me: what I want, what I need, how important I am, etc. When I exhibit self love I see myself through the eyes of God: a miracle of His creation, a reflection of His Glory, a child worthy of His Love.
Both can also create a raging war within us. Our human self wants to control us, to be the center of our existence. Our spiritual self must fight our human self to keep it from reigning supreme. Satan loves our human self because he can easily manipulate it through its ego. He likes to see the war rage within us.
It is important to note that we must have self love before we can truly love others. God commands us to love others as we love ourselves, an impossibility when our egotistical love of self is in control Most of us have issues. Whether they be about something in our physical appearance, our mental or emotional well being, or our personal life history, we react to and treat others from our own self perception. If we see ourselves as most important, others will seem less important, whereas if we love ourselves as children of God, we will see others in the same way and love them as we love ourselves.
Self love, when channeled through God, is healthy, positive, and productive. Love of self is self destructive. Self love is God-serving. Love of Self is self-serving, even Satan-serving. We must choose wisely how we love and whom we serve.