Loving our quirks and idiosyncrasies brings us into the brightness of love.
Today, I’m reading articles on how and why we fall in love.
According to researchers, there are ten reasons why we do it. We see similarities in each other, find one another attractive and find each other socially acceptable, for example. There’s an air of mystery that draws us to one another which of course stokes our curiosity. We enjoy spending time together and among other things, we simply mutually like each other.
Out of all the reasons listed, the one that strikes me the most is the recurrent idea that we fall in love with each other’s quirks and idiosyncrasies. These are the traits that mark each of us as unique and are often considered charms.
There is a song that comes to mind: “They Can’t Take that Away from Me,” lists a series of traits that are peculiar to the subject of the song. The way the subject holds his/her knife or sings off-key, for example—these traits the singer adores, even if they might seem curious or annoying to somebody else.
I can see that in myself: I in part fall in love with my lovers’ awkwardness, the surprising tendencies they have. I adore their quirks.
Maybe the lover says crazy things while dreaming, for example. Maybe my lover has a certain knack for burning water because of a preoccupation with work. Maybe it’s the way they giggle to themselves at nothing.
Maybe it’s the way they fidget when they’re thinking hard about something.
With each of these traits, I have been brought closer to love. I know that I have fallen in love with those idiosyncrasies just as much as mystery or similarities between us because somehow, they are also mine. They are observed in those private moments between us and no one else has to understand. I am a witness to the light and quirks in you, and and in the newness of love, or in love rekindled, these things make me smile.
I have been thinking too, about self-love. It’s a term we hear a lot. There are numerous books on the subject; they are filled with wonderful suggestions such as drawing up scented baths for yourself or taking yourself out on a date.
Still, the books don’t seem to offer a roadmap or bulletproof advice on how to go about self-loving with perfect success.
One thing these books have in common though is that they reiterate a common idea that in order for us to love, we must first love ourselves. It seems like a big a task, loving one’s self. It feels overwhelming no matter how prevalent the message.
How do we do it if we don’t even know how? Where do we start?
Where is the definitive operating manual?
I tend to give myself a lot of grief for my idiosyncrasies and quirks. For example, I often cringe about my ear-splitting laugh that makes heads turn. I’ve seen others hold their ears and duck from the sound. Still, I can’t help myself.
I wear my shoes and clothes out until they are frayed to just about nothing before going shopping again. I am a little utilitarian and not a spendthrift when it comes to clothes. I am a daydreamer. My imagination helps me to create art. I sing and pace and dance at bus stops to keep warm or pass the time when I think no one else is watching or listening.
I know these things about myself intimately, but I haven’t ever thought to like these things about myself. I suppose that’s what this article is. It’s a pivot point on which I intend to make a change in the way I feel about myself.
Afterall, others have loved these quirks in me. They have held in mind those private moments in which those quirks presented themselves. They have giggled and warmed because of them. The quirks have perhaps made me more real, vulnerable, lovable just as their’s have made them more real, vulnerable and lovable to me.
I am the one who gets to spend the most time with myself, so if I don’t like myself, I’m in trouble. My quirks and idiosyncrasies are inherently my own.
I can observe my traits in private moments and no one else has to understand. I can be witness to the light and quirks within myself, and in the bright acceptance of love, smile.
That feels powerful.
To smile at my own quirks lifts a heavy weight of judgment that prohibits me from showing up with a full and open heart.
That feels bright.
With a full and open heart, I am able to freely give and receive love. I can learn to not take myself so seriously.
I can already feel myself worry less about what my quirks might look like to others.
Further, I’m beginning to really like myself.
Author: Tameca L. Coleman
Editor: Renée Picard