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January 6, 2021

Self-Love can be Messy: How to Find Ourselves In-Between Joy & Pain.

I have come to an important realization: we cannot heal ourselves to perfection.

We have scars caused by trauma. We are all able to tear our scars open, pull out the trauma, and air it, but the damage experienced might never fully go away.

These experiences, in essence, have helped to shape who we are. Most of us are actually pretty hard on ourselves, even though we are probably more than acceptable in our damaged states.

We may choose kindness, but find narcissism in us as well.

We may choose to defend the underdog but are a bully in many ways—especially toward ourselves.

We may choose to take responsibility but often have the urge to run away.

We can be filled with light—have it shining out of our eyes for the world to see—but house dark within our bones.

We may feel drenched in joy but ache with pain and unhappiness at the same time.

We are what the good poets are made of: the heavy turmoil of slavery and the feathery lightness of freedom, justice and injustice, love and hatred, appreciation, and rejection.

We are most certainly all these things. We cannot exist with the one without the other—it is impossible.

This human experience is like a double-sided coin. Can we learn to appreciate it anyway? Love is the most beautiful, painful experience we will ever have—if we know this, will we ever really be the same?

Innocence has dissipated, the rose-tinted-glasses ripped from our eyes.

It doesn’t matter that we feel gratitude for our many blessings. All of us still have jealousy rear her green head from time to time. Can we learn to love her greenness because we can never feel anything but love toward ourselves?

This double-edged sword is the experience. What if instead of trying to deny our darkness, covering it up, and changing it, we could possibly just start to accept that it just is what it is?

The masks we judge others for wearing are the ones we wear too sometimes.

We are all a little broken and trying not to show it, covering up the social humiliation of it in fake happiness, pretending not to feel weak. Inside, most of us are dying a collective, dark night of the soul.

Life is painful, and growth is born from suffering.

This is the only path to love, actually, else it isn’t real love. There is joy, but that is just the other side of pain. This is the human experience.

Why we signed ourselves up for this beautiful mess, our dear friend death will only reveal to us when the time is ripe.

Can we instead learn to drop our high expectations and learn to unconditionally love ourselves in our broken way? We can only try.

~

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