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The Ugliness of Self Love


OCT 2022

It's quite amazing how much self love and self discovery has become so prominent in the last 5 years or so. Something that I have noticed is also floating around is the romanticizing of self love—making it out to be some sort of fairyland experience on earth, which it can be at times, but certainly not all the time.

I believe that the particularly pretty ideals or connotations about self discovery may make some of us feel like we’re doing something wrong in the realm of self love and acceptance. The truth is…self love is not always pretty. In fact, more than often, self love is frustrating, challenging, and even "ugly." (Yes, all of this is paradoxically beautiful. But certainly not rainbows and butterflies.)

Sometimes self love is having an emotional breakthrough. It’s facing a deep and dark truth of ours and feeling the gut wrenching pain.

Sometimes self love looks like being curled up in a ball on the floor, holding and rocking ourselves as we weep, whilst snot and drool is all over our face and in our hair.

Sometimes self love is realizing that we are our own biggest bully. It is facing the turmoils and patterning of our psyche.

Sometimes self love is witnessing old parts of us die as we grow. It’s sitting in the void of ‘now what?’ and feeling like we’ve lost an entire identity.

Sometimes self love is allowing ourselves to be really fucking bad at something new. And sitting with our deep and uncomfortable inner judgements.

Sometimes self love is a really uncomfortable and painful ‘No’ to a loved one. And we are left to sit with our guilt, shame, and fear of no longer being loved.

Sometimes self love is feeling like ‘the fool’ and still doing that thing we want to do anyways…because we have an aching passion that is relentlessly burning inside of us.

Sometimes self love is coming face to face with jarring truths about family dynamics—and having to navigate relationships in a new and possibly painful way.

Sometimes self love is going against all of who you ‘thought’ you were, and stepping into a new terrain of self—which also may cost you some relationships along the way.

Sometimes self love feels lonely, depressing, empty, uncertain, shameful, guilt stricken, out of our perceived “control,” and even earth shattering.

So while some (definitely not all) sources in the mainstream may give us the impression that self love is rose colored and rainbowy, I want to bring more awareness to the messiness of it. Because we are human after all. And being human is messy.

And if you ever find yourself feeling like a mess, I hope you remember that you are right where you are supposed to be. Self discovery, self love, self acceptance—it is all messy.


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