You’ve read a billion quotes and poems and stories about loving yourself and every Insta Poet on your feed right now is constantly reminding you that you’re beautiful just the way you are, or wait, was that Bruno Mars? Anyway, it’s the kind of day you’re feeling good about yourself so you stand up and walk towards the mirror and smile at your reflection. That’s when you notice something, but you shake your head, no-nuh-uh, a stupid zit on the cheek is not going to take your confidence away. Not today. But deep down you know that in a tiny minuscule way, it already has.
And insecurity seeps in even through the most invisible cracks. And once it’s there, you begin the quick spiral downwards, where you tell yourself that self-love would be so easy if you just had clear skin but in that moment you’ll forget that two months back you had clear skin but instead of loving yourself you stood in front of the mirror wanting to be just a little more fair.
I get it.
Loving yourself is a long journey and honestly nobody knows where it even ends. For so many years I thought self-love was learning to love my flaws and God knows I’ve tried. But what I know now is that it was never about loving your flaws; it was always about loving your strengths so fiercely and confidently that your imperfections become the new trend.
For me my height had always been my biggest flaw, I always use to believe people are never going to find me intimidating because of how tiny I am, my personality always use to shrink a little if I had to deal with people who were tall, and I thought that it was something I cannot change. Drinking complan now is not going to help right (not that it did back then anyway) so what the hell, just gotta live it! But then one day we had a guest lecturer in our college and this woman, probably shorter than me, walks down the hall towards the podium with such elegance, wearing a gorgeous saree with the perfect haircut, she had every single head turned and I don’t know about others but my eyebrows were raised, because despite the height that woman looked so intimidating and I don’t know, maybe almost powerful. And when she started speaking, I fell in love with her instantly. She was funny and witty and had everyone’s unshaken attention for the entire two hour long session. And clearly, what she had was not physical beauty, it was mostly in the way she carried herself. And I have been aspiring to become that woman ever since.
And while some people do make it look so effortless and easy to unapologetically love one’s self, I know that it’s hard. I know that some of you will find a billion reasons to convince yourselves that you don’t have what they have. You’ll tell yourselves you’re not smart enough, you’re not rich enough, you’re not pretty enough, and you’ll say that it’s easy for me to ask you to love your strengths but it’s bold of me to assume that you have any. Strengths, I mean. But hey, just because I am sitting here writing about self-love and knowing so clearly what needs to be done to get there does not mean I am there. I have days where I can walk into a room with all the confidence in the world and then there are days where I want to lock myself in a room and throw away the keys. Loving yourself like I said earlier is a long journey, but it needs to begin somewhere. And it begins when you start telling yourself that you matter.
Whatever you’re doing in whichever tiny little corner of the world, you have to believe that it’s important. You have talents and strengths that are unique to you, so stop making excuses and start giving yourself some credit.
Because honestly, “If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.” ― Colleen Hoover, All Your Perfects