The Struggles of Self Love

Does it ever feel like "self love" is just one more job that you're not living up to? This proclamation of new age social media that we have to love ourselves first and totally before we can be loved?

Or worse; if we are not deeply self loving that we're somehow broken?

Well, screw that. I don't always think I'm beautiful and perfect and do all the right things. Sometimes, I truly am disgusted with myself. So there. I said it out loud and I still think I deserve to be loved and that I mostly think I'm doing better than alright. Yeah. Sometimes, I even love myself a lot.But damn the pressure. Sometimes we can be like an over anxious lover. Will I love me today anyway?

Sometimes, "Self Love" is just another thing that I suck at; and I resent people telling me how I will never really be whole until I can suck face with myself in a mirror.

If I have to read one more self esteem quote in my Facebook news-feed about how if I can only adjust my attitude everything will perfect in my life - I think I will scream. And I do believe in the merits of loving myself! I also would deeply support you to love yourself too! But I don't think we will ever be consistent in our own relationship with self AND I don't think that learning to fall in love with your body is a 12 step program, or learning some kind of secret mantra that an all wise sexuality teacher whispers in your ear. Simply repeating "I love myself, I love my body, My body is beautiful" over and over and over again isn't gonna do it.

Forcing ourselves to love ourselves is just another damn job that we will probably fail at. Instead, I wonder about letting it all go and allowing ourselves to love ourselves in parts. Instead of trying to own this great big self love merit badge and shove our self loving pom poms in other people's faces; I wonder first about trying to feel our own pleasure in the lives that we have now and taking the time to get to know our bodies.

What if self loving is really about allowing ourselves pleasure instead of having to always approve of our image in the mirror?

We are not our bodies surfaces and we are not always our circumstances either. We are are something deep, ancient and powerful. And on the mysterious path to self loving which IS a good thing -- I advise starting here. Let your beauty and self love secrets be self knowledge. Forget fashion trends and the well meaning.

Don't take it all too seriously; and allow yourself to learn what makes you feel good inside. Where do you find your pleasure? As you move deeper into your exploration of finding that pleasure; don't be surprised if you start to feel beautiful.

Self loving will emerge softly like a summer breeze that it is filled with contradiction, irony and inconsistency. Self loving is not an Olympic sport and it does not come from any kind of beauty that you have to live up to. The beauty in you is the beauty you create in your life by allowing yourself to feel pleasure and goodness in the skin you are in.

When we go deeper into the power of our own pleasure instead of postponing pleasure until our physical bodies meet some kind of impossible standard, we end up in a cycle of obsession and self loathing.

You are the gate keeper of your own knowledge of the beauty and love within. And some days you will feel it; and some days you won't. It's okay. Shed the fantasy of unconditional self love and reach for something deeper.

Loving you from here, Pamela Madsen