I sometimes spend hours patiently painting little patches on a white canvas, beautifying it with my best ability. That’s until my ‘SQUIRREL’ brain diverges my attention onto something else, and sometimes, onto nothing at all. I am easily amused, I am easily bored. I love to laugh, and love to hear people around me laugh, but there always comes a time when I need to be left alone. Sometimes, life appears so light, so just, just as is, through its most complex struggles. And other times, when left to my own devices, I view even the most mundane of events as a giant conglomeration of stuff to analyze. Ah analysis, my most precious innate gift – a trait that I spent the past decade hating.
Then there are times when I get sad, lonely and insecure, despite all the good people that surround me. A certain neediness, and never-enough-ness takes over me for the silliest of reasons and I wish I wasn’t feeling what I feel. I spent the first half of my twenties wishing I didn’t feel what it is I felt, I didn’t say what I would say, that I was confident, and exuded that confidence. I wished I could never feel insecure, or small. I wished for flaws to go, somewhere far away from my own brain and my own body. I wished for concealers and mascaras to not only prettify me, but to alter my features. I wished for a flatter stomach, and smaller waist, and a nose the size of a button.
It came to me years ago – the mood swings, the toxic thoughts, the fears another human being feels are not mine to feel. But am I really such a surface person that I am going to compare my struggles with the struggles of other people, who to my eyes seem to have such lovely personalities, such lovely thoughts? Do I really think they’re that transparent, no. Then I have no business in using other beings as my point of comparison.
I am not sure how or why, but as I lay here in my leggings, my brain dumbed down from the fever brought on by flu, I like myself just as much as when I step out in the crowd wearing eyeliner and lipstick. You see, it doesn’t matter. None of that matters. We are to spend the journey of this lifetime in our skin anyway. We cannot better ourselves by rejecting ourselves, by wishing for idealized perceptions we have of other people to be part of us.
And that is, ladies and gentlemen, how the concept of self-love grew inside of me to become more than just a concept, but a whole feeling that I carry with me everywhere I go, no matter the state I am in. It is a feeling that grew from time spent practicing self-acceptance, acceptance of fleeting feelings and thoughts all all sorts of states of mind, and the acknowledgment of imperfection. And now, acceptance extends onto others, with the understanding and respect of the spectrum of emotions another person is faced with, without preconceptions, or idealized versions of ‘the right thing to say or do’.