If you struggle with self—confidence or if you diverge in any way from the socially-sanctioned ideal of what a person should be, it can be hard enough to love yourself in spite of your flaws. To love your flaws themselves seems impossible. It seems like wishful thinking, the kind of feel-good but ultimately hollow words you might see splashed across a photo of a sunset on Instagram, not words that have any bearing on your life.
And the truth is, many of us will not succeed in loving our flaws. Not the first time, anyway. Or the second. Or maybe even the hundredth. To love your flaws takes time and practice. But another truth is that it’s worth trying anyway.
To love the worst of you is a radical kind of love. It gives you the opportunity to practice love in all its forms. To love the superficial, often physical “flaws” so many industries are invested in making you loathe, is to love with defiance and liberation. To love your genuine personal failings—your selfishness and temper—is to practice a tough love, a love that expects and demands better because it knows better is within your grasp.
It isn’t easy to practice these things, but it gets easier the more you try. It is also good training for extending those same practices of love to the flaws of others and extending your capacity for compassion.
Ultimately, to love your flaws is not always possible and certainly not easy, but like so many worthwhile things, the value of it is in the trying.