The Universe has been talking to me a lot lately about self-love. Self-love is a concept, much like self-forgiveness, that has never sat well with me - violating my self-flagellating conscience with associated character flaws such as Pride, Arrogance, Selfishness and Self-Righteousness. But what I am slowly coming to understand is that self-love, and even self-forgiveness, is a much different thing than the justification of flaws. It is the acceptance and acknowledgement of flaws. It is the graceful peace that come with understanding that I AM WORTHY of love because Someone saw fit to breathe into me the Divine Spark that we all possess, each differently and independently.
I am not worthy of love because I am part of creation as a whole, I am worthy of love because I am A CREATION - unique, specific, flawed, imperfect and 100% ME. These are hard things for me. Hard to get past the guilt of perceived failures and sins and hard to see through the ugly opaque sheen of mistreatment and being told for far too long in far too many ways that I am unworthy. But I have been listening to the wrong voices. Certainly not the voices that created me. Certainly not the ones that matter. But the loud, clamoring voices, the ones desperate for power over their own perceived unworthiness.
So here I am, at 40 years old, learning about self-love. Learning about myself, and how to love it. It’s a tricky thing, because for every thing I can find to love, I can find the ugly underside of that same thing to loathe. I have decades of practice at this. I am a professional at self-disqualification. But I am finally realizing that the only thing that has kept me from BadAssing my way through life is this method of self-destruction in my own head, and I am kinda over it.
So here’s to finding all the things about myself to love. And to loving all the things about myself that I find. When I think about how I love other people, it’s all the little things that make them THEM that come to mind. Like how they sigh audibly when they feel content. Or how they drum their fingers when they think. Or that deep-rooted sparkle and wild eyes behind a genuine smile. So I am trying that with myself - noticing the little things and loving that they make me me. Like the fact that I don’t like to write with my shoes on because it makes it hard to think, or that I feel a compulsion to rinse my hair in cold water, or that my laugh sounds a little like a sea lion with a head cold. Once I start to love the little things, maybe I can move on to the bigger things - like my hard headed unwillingness to ever settle for BLAH. Or the way that I can feel the pain of other people, physically, really, truly. Or the gift of childlikeness that I know I possess when I am not murdering it with cynicism.
Back when I was a kid and believing in all of my fallen darkness, I also believed so much in the redemptive power of faith. I BELIEVED in things unseen. I believed in the Desires of My Heart. I believed in Happily Ever After and True Love. I got bitter when all my believing took a little longer than I expected to pan out (still waiting?), but bitter isn’t a good fit for me so I think I will go back to believing, and it seems like the place to start is learning how to truly love myself. There’s a lot more life in believing. There’s a lot more life in hope and love than there is in fear and loathing. Feels like an upgrade for sure.
|what's not to love? amiright?|