Loving our imperfections
posted by: Lori Holden
When I’m dissatisfied with someone, I can usually trace the feeling to a dissatisfaction with myself.
So, if I could truly love myself, would I more easily love those around me?
I’m critical. Don’t know if I get it from my dad or if I’m hard-wired for it. My dad always wants to make things better — a good trait. But here’s what would happen when I showed him a school project or essay: he’d look at, tell me it was wonderful, and then talk about ways to improve it.
And, at the same time, he’s always been my biggest cheerleader.
My mom, on the other hand, is a supermodel for loving unconditionally. She always acts as if my sisters and I are three of the seven wonders of the world — exactly as we are — in whatever we are doing. Even though she doesn’t give advice, we always find answers to problems when we bring them to her. She just gives the space and confidence to solve our own problems, which we are then empowered to do.
I am fortunate to have had both styles of parental love. But my own style favors my dad’s. As a Critic, self-love has been difficult for me.
Self-love is not encouraged in our culture because we confuse it with self-indulgence. But I believe that unconditional self-love is the foundation for other-love. So what better contribution to humanity can I make than to love myself? Wholly, unconditionally. In this way I will emanate love from my being. I love two people, and they love two people, and they love two people…and so on…
- I love my hair — even the unruly wave.
- I love my green eyes, nearsightedness and all.
- I love my skin, the way it protects me and heals.
- I love my mouth, the way it experiences and expresses.
- I love my arms, that embrace my family often, and which amaze me with their strength.
- I love my breasts. They are just right for me.
- I love my stomach. I like the freckles on it, and the way the organs inside nourish me.
- I love my heart. It loves and provides flow for the rest of me.
- I love my lungs. With them I bring in spirit that joins us all, and release all that no longer serves me.
- I love my butt. (This is admittedly hard to type.)
- I love my legs. The support me and move me forward.
- I love my feet. To the teasers in 5th grade, I say they are NOT too small.
- I love my height and weight. (Breathe.)
- I love myself.
During this holiday season, I invite you to love in concentric circles, starting with yourself and emanating outwards.
What do you unconditionally love about yourself?