Self love is a nagging buzz word/phrase right now. It is what acai berries were a few years ago to the good eating industry. My writing is evidence of its prominence with a post just a year ago focusing on the same eight letters. It reminds me of an affirmation that bears repeating until its message is ingrained in the psyche.
But, I wonder what is truly means for me as an individual. And, perhaps to the larger audience, too.
Is the word love the best choice or a pressure laden script that forces an unnatural mindset?
Can there be authentic self love without love in its all encompassing entirety?
Is another adjective better suited to fill this place and give grace as a place holder?
Swirling thoughts that float and drift with no definitive answers.
Love for me is unconditional.
It is the truest of full acceptance with no doubts belied by judgment. It is the reason for deep embrace when words are lost. It is the ability to pull the physical outburst and emotional maelstrom of a tantruming child in to a safe harbor.
It is the tears, the joy, the laughter, the pain.
It is everything. A non-descript melting pot capable of holding it all.
With this definition in mind, these characteristics paramount to love – can you love your self with loving your whole self?
The baggy skin that hangs below my belly button with a distorted cesarean line cutting across is not loved. It is accepted. It is tolerated. It is held and embraced. But it is not loved.
This imperfect bisection and squishy pooch are loved by husband. Fully. In all the ways that I define love. Does that not exemplify love? When we find ourselves most unlovable and least worthy, the true ones rise up and give love. During the fits, there is the embrace. In the fog of the storm, the unwavering lighthouse.
Can I stand tall, shoulders back – a full physical embrace of myself as a whole while still saying the words “I don’t like this. Or this.”
Because I don’t. Can there be love without like? A non-mutually exclusive one without the other.
Is the desire to change something and its appearance mean that love is absent? Does this desire for different, by definition, mean that it is powered by dissatisfaction and self doubt?
I am working through these questions and trying to narrow them into more answers.
I am trying to see myself for who I am – right now, in this moment, a culmination of all that came before. I am trying to give grace to all those imperfections and dimples. And, acceptance for what is here.
I don’t feel like love, in all its truest glory, is possible for me right now. Life is a whole lot of gray. There is not “love” or “no love”. Or love or hate. The spectrum is wide and varied and doppled with personal definitions.
I am honoring.
I am giving grace.
I am bringing awareness to spaces, places and parts that were too long ignored.
I am looking at myself as a whole being, body and spirit and saying “I am”.
And, I am working to sluff off the guilt and pressure to love fully with the authenticity that I cannot embrace.
And, perhaps as a side goal coin a phrase that does not have the love in self love.