Sometimes we get into the habit of thinking the best way to ‘take care’ of ourselves, is to continually work on improving. Despite our astounding accomplishments, we convince ourselves we still don’t measure up. And no matter our best efforts, we tell ourselves we’ll never be good enough, never be worthy of acceptance—even our own.
We think ‘self-love’ is about fixing our broken pieces, or molding ourselves into something else. We think we need to be better, stronger, as close to ‘perfect’ as possible. And so we set up these unrealistic expectations for ourselves and then wonder why we’re so unhappy and unsatisfied, wonder why we’re left disappointed and unfulfilled.
We think that ‘finding’ ourselves is synonymous with ‘fixing’ ourselves—that we continually have to reform or change who we’ve been to become something worthy of love and light. But we are not broken beings; we don’t need to be fixed.
Yes, we’ll encounter our share of pain and defeat. We’ll have days where we’ll hurt the hearts of those who love us, where we’ll let down the ones who matter the most. We’ll have nights where we fall asleep crying, and mornings where we hate the reflection looking back at us in the bathroom mirror.
We’ll have plenty of things to work on. Because guess what? We’re not perfect. We’re not going to be ‘enough’ according to the world’s unreachable terms. We’re not going to have our lives together one-hundred percent of the time, or always appreciate the soul and skin we’re in.
But we don’t have to spend our lives in relentless pursuit of an unobtainable sense of self. We don’t have to waste our happiness, our peace, our time looking to ‘mend’ all that’s not ‘right’ – the truth is, we’re perfectly imperfect and worthy, just as we are.
When we think of ‘self-love,’ ‘self-improvement,’ or even living our ‘best lives,’ we think of pushing ourselves. We think of becoming better. These things are positive, yes, and we should always be trying to build ourselves, rather than staying still. But sometimes we get so caught up in all that we don’t yet have, all that we aren’t quite reaching, that we forget who we are.
We forget our inherent worth because we’re so focused on what we want to change instead of challenge.
See, it’s not so much about ‘mending’ or ‘altering’ but taking who you are and loving that being into an even more powerful version of yourself. It’s not about thinking you’re ‘wrong’ because you’ve made mistakes along the way, but learning from those mistakes. And growing. Continually.
Self-love, self-acceptance, self-improvement: those things are never-ending processes. And that is not to say that you’re never going to be good enough. But to spark a light under you that fuels your positivity, that pushes you forward, while taking time to appreciate who you are every step of the way.
You have to stop ‘fixing’ yourself. As if you’re a toy on a shelf, a worn out car in a garage. As if what has happened to you will forever shape where you go next. As if you’re undeserving, simply because you’re human.
You are not flawless, but that doesn’t mean you are lacking.
So stop digging yourself into a hole. Stop forgetting the God who made you. Stop forgetting all that you’ve overcome, and all that you are. You are not meant to have this all figured out, to love every inch of your body and soul (because that’s hard, by the way). You’re not meant to always shine brightly, or never fall down.
But as you reach for those beautiful things, don’t discredit yourself for the road you’ve walked. It’s been a pretty damn hard journey. And you should be proud.