Something is wrong. It’s been niggling at me for a long time. Somewhere, underneath it all, my gut has been telling me that something’s not right. I’ve been skirting around the edges, dipping my toe in the water, but I couldn’t see what was going on. Just a faint dull ache in the pit of my stomach telling me to tread carefully.
It’s the self-love/self-help/self-improvement thing. Something doesn’t sit well with me.
And today, at the bottom of a rabbit hole (when one click leads to another lead and then to another) the unease took shape. The problem with the self-love movement is that it tells us that once we love and approve of ourselves we will be happy. Somehow — if I can accept that I’m a flawed human being and love myself unconditionally — then all will be right with the world.
And the problem is we believe self-love is the answer, the goal, the destination and the meaning of life.
Self-love is simply a way to remove the barriers that stop us doing the important work in our lives.
When we stop struggling against who we are (and how we should look) we are free to go after the things that really matter. We are free to love, support and engage with others outside of our interior experience.
Our greatest calling is to contribute to the world and make a difference in the lives of others. Our greatest calling is not to be at peace with ourselves. Being at peace with ourselves is just the means by which we can engage in a fulfilled life.
A life filled up with love, with connection, with pleasure and with pain.
Cracked wide open to all of life experiences.
Self-loathing stops us connecting. Self-doubt stops us taking risks. Guilt and shame stop us sharing ideas that could change the world.
Self-love strips away the mask so we can connect authentically. When we believe in ourselves we get on with living a great big life.
It’s not all about feeling good about yourself. It’s about letting go of the doubts and self-judgment so you can function, contribute and participate.
Accepting yourself is not the goal — it’s merely removing the roadblocks so you can get on with the things that matter.
And maybe, just maybe, getting on with the things that matter will help you realise that you’re OK just the way you are whether you love yourself or not.
→ What important thing would you do today if you totally believed in yourself?
→ Inspired by this post.