Oh No! Not Our Flaws!
We seem to be willing to find room for self-compassion for just about everything, well everything but our flaws. We draw an imaginary line to let ourselves and others know that there are some parts of us that are downright unacceptable. As part of our truth, we do not want that perspective refuted. We know that our nose is too big, or too crooked, or that our cheeks are too fat, too gaunt, or too ill-defined. We know that we stink, when it comes to relationships, remembering important events, or performing when everything is on the line. We know that we are not as smart as other people, or as interesting, or as funny, or as lovable. These are not opinions. They are facts.
Of course, there are ways to poke holes in these facts because most of them seem to be based on whoever is in the room. What if you are surrounded by really ugly, dumb, bland people? What do you do with your facts then? I think these people would probably take it very badly, if you insisted that you were even uglier, dumber, and blander than they were. Those are their facts! How dare you take those facts from them?
All kidding aside, the truth is that you can feel however you want about yourself. You just need to accept that having those feelings are ok, and yet you are still lovable, and worthy of a meaningful, inspiring life filled with well-being and ease. That is really the point, anyway. Isn’t it? All the descriptors that we have previously mentioned do not determine whether you will live a good life. In fact, being full of socially idolized qualities may fill your life with superficial, opportunistic relationships that leave you feeling very unfulfilled.
In the end, the things we fear make us less than others are really just ways of describing someone based on what we have learned socially. Every culture, and every generation has supported different attributes, so it is not like there is a definitive catalogue of must have qualities to live a good life. If you search your heart, you will find that what you want most is to have a good life, to be accepted, to be appreciated, and to be loved, but if you want all of these things, then you have to be kind, gentle, and supportive to yourself.
Your greatest goal must be to show up with love on even your darkest, most self-critical days because that it is the true sign of unconditional love. Anybody can do the work on easy days, but we don’t long deeply for acceptance on our easy days. We long for acceptance on our hardest days. And, this acceptance is available all of the time. You just have to promise to work towards it every day, right where you are, and not give up when times are tough, or when being superficial and judgmental just seem easier.
Our deepest flaws exist to give us the most sincere opportunity to give ourselves self-compassion. You cannot fake it here. These flaws really make you feel bad to your core, so your attempts at self-compassion must be genuine because you are too smart to be fooled when it comes to your “facts.” May you accept yourself just as you are. May you be kind to yourself. May you never give up this journey, when self-acceptance appears out of reach, and may you bathe in it completely, when it is available. In this way, it is a lot like raising a teenager. They don’t always tell you that they love you, but deep down you know it is true, and you allow your love for them to persevere.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 210. In The Books.