Welcome to February my friends! Being ever-original, this month we're going to talk about LOVE. And, tbh, I think it's important that we cover this all. First of all, because you're going to be thinking about it anyway. Second of all, because it's f**king dark out and cold and we're all in a shit mood and probably not feeling awesome about ourselves anyway.
And yes, if you haven't guessed it, this month is all about loving you. So let's start it off right.
First and foremost, you deserve to be loved by you.
You don't suck. You didn't fail. You're not "behind" your friends. Which is all entirely true and also entirely hard to feel like it's true if you're not already there. You do not need to change to be worthy of acceptance by you.
Let's take a step back. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why do we tell ourselves we suck? Why do we spend So. Much. Time. fixating on what we don't like about ourselves and our lives? I have a hypothesis. And my hypothesis is this: we think that criticizing ourselves is an important step to growth and development. And maybe even buying into the Western (or at least American) narrative that striving to change is morally good. That we need to keep criticizing and nit-picking ourselves in order to grow and evolve. Even to take it a step further, that when growth is possible, it means that where we are right now is bad, otherwise why would you need to grow?? Whew! That's a lot to put on ourselves.
Here's an alternative.
What if we grow and evolve because it's fun. Because we're humans and we like to grow. Like, say you worked at a job for 10 years, eventually you'd become so competent at that job that you'd get bored. You'd want to try something new and different because where you are isn't challenging anymore. That doesn't mean that the years you spent learning the job were wasted or bad, it just means that you did that and now you're ready for something new. That you were where you were exactly supposed to be, and now it's time for something else.
Let's take it a step further. Because I bet that job one was easy for you to accept. What if the purpose of being alive is to grow and change and learn big hard lessons and evolve? And to love and to have fun and to experience things. And to grow through it all. You might feel called to a more specific purpose, but if you buy into the idea that our lives have meaning, I bet that meaning somehow overlaps with your purpose. And maybe you use different or more religious or less religious words. All good my friend. Hopefully you get the idea.
So...if the purpose of being alive is just to grow and have crazy experiences...then whatever you're experiencing is exactly where you're supposed to be. Think about it. You're here to have experiences and grow. And you're having an experience. And you're (naturally) learning from that experience. So you're growing. So you're doing the thing!
What about all those are people and their expectations?
Yep. Everyone's got them. And we are definitely hard-wired to crave acceptance from the tribe. No doubt about it. But the nice thing is, there are literally millions (billions) of people in the world. And we all have different opinions and expectations. So even if it hurts to accept yourself at the cost of acceptance from others, I'm 99% sure if you really actually do love your current tribe, there's another new tribe that would be thrilled to have you. Exactly as you are.
So...I don't need to change, but I do? I'm confused.
Yes, exactly. You don't need to change to be worthy of love and acceptance.
You definitely don't need to change to be worthy of love and acceptance from yourself.
Growth and evolution are part of the fun of being alive. They are not about needing to change to be worthy or "good enough" or anything else.
You are perfect and lovely and wonderful and deserve to be treated kindly. Right now. Exactly as you are. Regardless of what you've done in the past or what's happened to you. Seriously.
So take all those past (maybe painful?) experiences and be grateful for all you've learned from them. Forgive yourself for not being perfect, because you don't need to be perfect. And do the things that make you feel loved.