From my experience, the only way to live a life in love is to be able to see yourself fully, the beautiful and the ugly, the light and the darkness, and choose to love yourself anyway. Envy, pride, meanness, hatred, all stem from fear and self-rejection. When we can look at our shortcomings with compassion and accept our failures, only then can we begin to make room for love, joy, presence, forgiveness.
We are human, we are flawed, we make mistakes, we stray from the path of love and kindness time and time again. Being compassionate with ourselves doesn’t mean making excuses for our behavior. It means shining a light onto the darkness and trying to learn from our experiences. Asking what drove us to speak and behave that way. And how can we heal those aspects of our being. When one has been unkind, they can better understand how someone comes to act that way. Having chosen to lie, one can relate to how lack of courage plays out in one’s life. Our failures show us how to forgive those who have failed us. They teach us to see through someone’s misused words and ill-aimed actions as an expression of their own suffering.
What if we choose not to demand and expect perfection from ourselves and others? Notice how you feel in your body when you choose to allow yourself to make mistakes, to be just as you are, to love yourself not when… but now. Do you feel a sense of freedom? Playfulness? Joy? If you allowed yourself the freedom to try, to get stuff wrong, to fail, to learn, to experience, to change, to be authentic? If you look at your own life and yourself without judgment, what do you see? What does your heart really want?