Life-ers. Our flaws that are ours for life. Not a broken leg, not a bad haircut, life-ers last as long as our genetic code stays in tact. I was talking with my beautiful eighteen year-old niece yesterday about loving our flaws. The look she gave me was enough to say,
“Auntie Sana, you are the crazy auntie aren’t you?”
Unfortunately, when people give me that look, despite the love in their eyes telling me to stop before I make things worse, I get set off to flap harder against the air trying to make them see how to fly. My thoughts, like little ducklings with fluff for feathers, don’t always show what they will become when they are matured in discussion and practice. So when my niece gave me her loving, “You are crazy,” look, I started talking faster, louder and my hands were doing the up and down thing.
I wanted her to know that she will love the people she wants to love better when she does that for herself. When she loves her flaws, seeing them like a favorite rock she’s never been able to consistently climb or a piano sonata that she has practiced over years but still trips through and loves it even though she will never be its master – when she loves her imperfect self that much then she can love me. She can love me better when she doesn’t hate her failing self. I fail her and will for life. She can love me as I am when she gives herself the same passion. She can love me enough not to want me to stay this way, when she pushes herself, works herself and throws her energy against the barriers against her own growth – why? because she loves herself enough to do that.
My niece and I talked about God too. God loves us completely now. He doesn’t want us to become perfect before He loves us entirely. He doesn’t love the parts of us that don’t let Him down only. He doesn’t divide us up between good and bad cells, genes for heaven and genes for… well, not heaven. God loves us passionately now. Why in the world would we think He would want us to feel any differently about our own selves? Wouldn’t that be pretty lame if God said,
“I feel this way about you, but don’t you go accepting your own flaws. Only I can do that. You had better hate your flaws and despise yourself for them until they go away.”
I was reading an amazing story accounted by The Itty Bitty Boomer, where we are given some of the inner scene of one woman’s flawed and perfect self, Carie, growing to love her life-ers just like you and me. She tells us,
“Recovering from obesity is much like recovering from any addiction – the battle is never done or over. Over the last 3 years I have regained 25 of the 90 pounds that I lost. I could fall easily into blame and self-hatred and beat myself up for failing again … but I do not think I’ve failed. And the more I keep myself in that mindset … the easier it is for me to keep on track to dump the pounds picked up.”
Self-Care Tip – Love your life-er. Have you given your life-er a hug today? (Smile.)
Questions: What are your life-ers? Are you able to love them yet?
What do you think about a God who asks you to love yourself either differently than He does or as well as He does? How do you see it? Please tell us your story.
- Don’t Run Away. You Might Fall In Love With Your Flaws. (friendtoyourself.com)
- What Is Your Life-er? (friendtoyourself.com)
- Let Love Come, Even When It Poops On You (friendtoyourself.com)
- Love Differently, Love Your Flaws – Be a Tall Poppy (friendtoyourself.com)
- When You Fail, It Is Just Part of Your Journey so Keep On – Presence (friendtoyourself.com)
- Scheduled Intimacy – Mother’s Day (friendtoyourself.com)
- Recovering From The Hurts Of Morbid Obesity – Lessons from Cari … (boomeradventures.wordpress.com)
- One Woman’s Struggle To Shed Weight, And Shame (friendtoyourself.com)
- Childhood obesity: A parenting failure? (20114t.wordpress.com)
- Addiction (hethercrawford.wordpress.com)
- A Series on Obesity and Making Biological Excuses (tbking.wordpress.com)
- What’s Causing the Obesity Epidemic (theness.com)
- How to Keep Off Pounds You Lost (foodfromthegarden.wordpress.com)
I came to love my flaws as a much younger person when I would meet someone and feel scornful because they were a certain way ( perhaps whiny or annoying) and one day I asked myself why I hated them. Then I had an epiphany which I took was the Good Lords way of smacking me upside the head….I realized what I hated in others was exactly what I did or felt. From that day I never again hated or envied anyone. Yes envy was also a flaw of mine way back then!
great story chris. i thought about it all d yesterday. it felt so clean and right. thanks
When I beat myself up about not being able to stop smoking, my friend Sidey tells me “never mind, you can carry on stopping”.
HAHAHAHAHA! I love that! thank u Sidey! thank u cin for sharing. “carry on stopping” – big smile.
If only our daughters-in-love could understand this concept of loving the flaws in one another. I continue to pray that they will open their eyes and see themselves and each other as God does. Flawed, sometimes mistaken, but never unloved.
I arrived at a thought one day as I was considering your very point – many, many years ago. I was struggling with self-recrimination over all my faults. I told myself that God loved me, but somehow it was hard to mentally grab on to. I felt I had to be some beter self before I could really be loved. This God-given thought came to me:
I do not have to do or change one single thing in my life or about myself in order for God to love me. But I know now that if I freely offer my love to God, in spite of myself – I will change.
Thank u dear paula!
“I do not have to do or change one single thing in my life or about myself in order for God to love me. But I know now that if I freely offer my love to God, in spite of myself – I will change.” say it again lady!
Love yourself from a perspective of being an admonition from God probably means to attend to our physical, mental and spiritual health so we are in a position to receive love from others and provide it to others.
bam. why carl? why r u able to say this so easily and so well? for me perhaps. thank u God.
I find it amazing how often the very traits we disdain in others are often those we own as well … head smacks are great attitude adjusters!
woah! whack! yes. that does the trick. thank u itty. great to connect w u. hope u don’t mind that i lassoed u in to that blog post. many of us need to hear what u r talking about. keep on.
I accept my flaws, but I can’t say that I have learned to love them all.
i know suzi. many people think this is a ridiculous idea. i’m bent on winning u over though (wink)
Accepting one’s own flaws is a bit like allowing oneself to forgive oneself. A good idea.
Sure, work to improve yourself – lose weight – be fitter – get more sleep – but accept yourself as you are. You may as well. It’s the reality.
thank u blackwatertown. “u may as well.” that just says it for me too.
“Auntie Sana, you are the crazy auntie aren’t you?“ … smile ….
u know it
I have always believed that God wants me to love myself as He loves me. I have always believed, in my heart, that He loves me perfectly. It’s so hard, though, when I’m feeling this awful physically and emotionally – when I, as I told my husband today, “just can’t” anything – to love myself or my life as God would have me love or to think that I could be loved by God and still feel this bad. It makes me very sad and very scared. I don’t want to live the rest of my life feeling like this and I don’t know how to make it better but, frankly, I’m too tired right now to try to work it out…and that terrifies me because there are so many things I still want to do with my life. The mind is willing; the body is a whole other thing.
those darn emotions, perceptions and senses sure don’t consistently deliver. i know u have a lot u want to do yet and that’s pretty cool about u nancy.
oooh, this is a hard one because some of my flaws, that I will carry with me for the rest of my life because of my own actions, are really hard to accept. Maybe one day though 🙂
good point purple. it does feel more intuitive to forgive others rather than ourselves. we r so twisted sometimes. let us know how this goes for u. we all do this at some point in our lives. keep on.
That’s true. We must learn to love our imperfect selves. If we wait until we are perfect, then we will never accept ourselves. If God can love us when we are so far below Him, then we should be able to, as well. I need to work on this. I still get mad at myself for things, even those I did as a kid, and it’s silly. I’ll never be perfect, so I need to focus on how far I’ve gone and not on how much farther I need to go.
duck, say it. i luv that idea of working out before going to the gym, getting clean before we shower and so on.