There is a such thing as a “healthy self-love”. This is not prideful, nor pompous, nor overly focused on superiority. But it’s about accepting myself as I am, and having a peace about who I am, flaws and all.
I have been on a journey.... A process or transition, if you will, to a higher level of greatness. This journey is definitely not all rainbows and unicorns (though, I do like unicorns), but it does include a certain level of pain and discomfort. When it comes to self-love and self-acceptance, for me, this was a very emotional process.
As I sat back and reflected on my habits, my preferences, why I do certain things, why I wear make-up, why I cover my hair, why I’m almost always wearing some sort of jacket or sweater (even during 90+ degree weather), etc., it all boiled down to me trying to compensate for what I considered to be deficits, problems, and discomforts. There were parts of me that I did not accept, that I did not like, and had no power to change. I’ve only recently gotten to the place where I could start embracing my whole being….and it’s still a process… Self-rejection is a real thing…and we tend to treat it like its just acknowledging what areas in our lives could use some form of improvement. In reality, what we’re really saying is that these areas are unwanted.
No, I can't just change the physical traits that I may have insecurities about. But trying to mask those things won't erase them. In so many ways, some of my lack of acceptance is sending a message to the Creator that His work is not good enough; that He fell short on some parts of me and I need to fix what He did, or “pick up” where He left off. Since I’m not bold enough to tell Him that verbally, I should reconsider expressing that to Him in the ways that I have been up until this point.
I’m learning to love myself whole-heartedly. It’s taking time, but I’m recognizing that there’s an internal peace that comes with knowing who I am, whose I am, and what I am, that enables me to exude a natural confidence that doesn’t place high value on things that don’t really matter.
I know in our society we are bombarded with images and references that tell us what’s beautiful, what’s important, what’s feminine, and what’s desired. A man’s desire of me should never validate my worth, and someone else’s opinion of me should never be used to confirm my greatness. Self-love is about accepting me as I am, and being comfortable with working towards becoming the best version of myself. I read in a book that it is easier to give love to others and receive love when we love ourselves. Typically, those who are challenged with this have difficulty accepting who they are and loving themselves. So, let’s fall in love with ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with having a healthy view of who you are and loving the heck out of yourself to the point that you freely share that love with others.
written April 2017