Self-Care Is Recognizing Flaws

Illustration by Aminah Brown.

I feed off of compliments. Throughout the years, I’ve come to expect them often, but I’ve always resented their effect on my confidence. After all, how I think about myself holds more power, so why do compliments even matter?

The widely popular drag queen RuPaul often says, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

However, this iconic quote has been contradicted for good reasons. It’s easy to recognize the good qualities that one believes are missing but the wrong kind of partner can exploit the way someone feels about their flaws. As a result, you may find yourself in an abusive relationship. On the other hand, the very basis of many forms of therapy is to have someone who is given support and love until they realize why they should love themselves as well.

Low self-esteem can be attributed to many things, but not from oneself. From the minute we are born, there are expectations waiting for us outside the womb and whether or not we live up to them has a great effect on us. Society treats these expectations like laws. However, everyone seems to ignore that the perfect person who would fit each mold and follow these laws doesn’t exist.

For certain people, it’s even worse. They may belong to multiple communities, making it conflicting to try to fit in each group. Many find themselves at war with themselves. Some try to lead separate lives where they can express themselves in different ways, but it usually ends in disaster when their true self is revealed. This isn’t a solution and it can take a big toll one’s self-esteem.

Most people would agree that not everything is black and white, but when it comes to love, everyone seems to expect it to be perfect and unconditional. Love is about recognizing strengths and accepting flaws because people are made up of both and it’s possible to embrace them at the same time.

I think that love is as much a choice as it is not. The people we allow into our lives contain flaws we choose to accept. Thus, we find self-love, confidence and willpower in finding and accepting the truths about ourselves.

The purpose of life is to constantly evolve and become improved versions of ourselves. Accepting the bad in ourselves doesn’t mean that we should leave it alone, but we shouldn’t let it eclipse the good. Discovering our flaws can also reveal the ways that we can improve them so they won’t cause discomfort and diffidence. Finally coming to terms with our flaws means that no one can use them as a weapon against you.

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