“Self-love is a good thing but self-awareness is more important. You need to once in awhile go “Uh, I’m kind of an asshole.” Louis C.K.
I read this quote and it got me thinking a lot about how we see self-love as a culture. I used to push self-love away because it felt too blind to the things I hated about myself. If I loved myself, wouldn't I be falling into a complacency trap!?
Self-love and self-awareness go hand in hand.
Just as you can not truly love anyone unless you know them, as it is with ourselves. We can not have self-love without self-awareness, without it self-love is just sentimental gush. It is like a cake that was baked but did not rise. Sure, it’s sweet, but it falls flat. And just the same, we can not have self-love when we are overly self aware, focusing on our faults. That would be one bitter cake to eat.
Radical self-love does not deny the reality of who we are. It is not an arrogant attitude. It does not turn it's head to our humanity.
Self-love is taking a good look in the mirror and seeing everything.
All the flaws and growth marks; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is seeing all of it for the reality and giving grace to ourselves. You are not your worst day. You are not the same person you were five years ago! You are not the same person you were last year. You are not the gossip you said yesterday.
Sure, you blew it. Sure, you said it. Sure, you flew off the handle.
But what if you give yourself grace like you give grace to a child? Give yourself the love you would give to a child. Children make mistakes. Sure, they fall and trip and fumble their words. But watching them grow and mature is the most rewarding thing.
It is okay to see your ass-hole moments and impatient spirit.
Lord knows that I have ass-hole moments. You knowing that I fall short and have ass-hole, mean mug moments does not scare me. My humanity does not scare me. I confront it with radical grace, radical love, and somewhere in that love it starts to shift and change.
Can you look at yourself like a father looks at his child? Like a mother smiles on her daughter getting up again? She knows she blew it, but she knows she is loved.
It all comes down to accepting yourself as you are. Imperfections and all and trusting that AS YOU ARE you are worthy and deserving of love. Embrace your ass-hole moments as little check-ups along the way that remind you to keep growing and keep shifting. No one ever yelled at a child for stumbling as they learn to walk. Give yourself that same grace. You are growing and becoming your best, stumbling is a part of the human process. Get up and keep going.