We use the word love a lot. To describe how we feel about food, clothes, places, things, colors, fragrances, our work, our homes, our cities, people in our life and even animals. This made me think and wonder, how often do we use the word love to describe how we feel about ourselves? We may have traits or qualities we love about ourselves, and we may even have talents and skills we love, yet do we use the word to describe how we feel about our whole self, the entire person we are today?
There is so much self help information out there that it can feel overwhelming each and every day. Constantly battling to be better than we are today. Working hard to be stronger, smarter, more organized, more kind, more thoughtful and relationship savvy, more helpful and engaging, more productive and let’s not even get started on the topic of weight loss or physical appearance. It is a good thing to want to improve ourselves, to be better than we are today. It is more important to love who we are as we become a better version of ourselves not just withholding our self respect until we reach whatever goal it is we are working towards.
We forget that using the word love in all circumstances, even when we are less than we want to be, means we have the courage to love ourselves and others through the process…not just at the end of it. Trouble will come, mistakes will be made, endurance will fade, body parts fail. If we only love when we are complete or when other people are perfect then we are not using the word love correctly. Loving someone or something means accepting the whole thing, even the yucky parts. It is our flaws and shortcomings that make us human, and that makes us lovable. No one is perfect, no one. So if we withhold until perfect is reached, we’re headed for big trouble and lonely years.
What if we chose to love people and our selves as we are, and encouraged them and us to be better in all things, THAT is love. The things we love will not always be around, we we need to cherish them while they are here…which means it starts with cherishing ourselves. Our whole selves, our flaws, foibles, bad habits and blotches, which in turn helps us love those same things about others. Remember, none of us is perfect so be to loved and to love means accepting every nook and cranny – even the yucky parts.