acceptance over love

 

I can’t honestly say that I love myself. I do not embrace my flaws or scream ‘I am what I am’ over the rooftops. At one level, this makes me feel somewhat alienated from those who are unashamedly themselves. The people who don’t question every word they say. I don’t, however, let this bog me down; I may not love myself, but I accept myself.

There is a rhetoric floating around these days that speaks of how we must love ourselves before we love others. We must embrace our differences and eradicate self-loathing. On the surface this sounds ideal. We all just give ourselves a big hug and everything is fine! If only it were that simple.

As far as I’m concerned, it is far more important to accept yourself before you love yourself. Even if you accept yourself and you don’t end up loving every inch of your being, you’ll still be better equipped to face the world.

There is a strange guilt that comes with not expressing love for your (apparent) flaws; you feel as though your lack of self-love will inhibit your potential to love and appreciate others. You’re a disappointment to compassion.

This is where self-acceptance is key. You do not have to cherish your imperfections. You can acknowledge their presence and accept the role they play in your life, but loving them is unessential. I categorically do not love my crooked spine, asymmetrical jaw, introverted nature or tendency to assume the worse case scenario. But they’re a part of me, and that’s just fine. These things have taught me a lot, and they’ll probably continue to do so as I become older and – hopefully – wiser.

Let’s stop making people feel guilty for not ‘owning’ their flaws. You can feel lacklustre about yourself while continuing to love others. The more we accept, the more we can move on and unshackle ourselves from the impossible task of loving what we hate.

Love and luck,

Clodagh X

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