What if we could all be up-front and accepting of the things we don't like about ourselves? Well, we can. It's a matter of getting a handle on how we look at these things. That's what my new book, FLAWD: How to Stop Hating on Yourself, Others, and the Things That Make You Who You Are is all about.
It's about perspective. It's about examining and playing with our perspective so that even though we live in a society that thrives on flaw hate, we can move in the direction of flaw love. The 5 truths below are excerpted from FLAWD and can help you--regardless of your age--because while it would be nice if self-esteem issues were something you just grew out of, the reality is they're something you deal with in life until..you deal with them. These 5 truths will help you see yourself as perfectly imperfect; think about what really matters; embrace all that makes you, you; and know you can be part of a flawd and powerful transformation. --Emily-Anne Rigal with Jeanne Demers.
© 2015 by Realize Arts & Education Inc. A Perigee Book, Penguin Group USA, Penguin Random House.
You are made up of many things without being any one of them. If you’re not your stories and you’re not your body, are you your name? Your labels? Your experiences? Your age? Your social status? Your personality? NOPE.
You have stories, but you are not your stories. You have a body, but you are not your body. You have a name, but you are not your name. You have labels, but you are not your labels. You have experiences, but you are not your experiences. You have an age, but you are not your age. You have a social status, but you are not your social status. You have a personality, but you are not your personality.
I know…this seems so negative. You’re probably thinking, “I must be something.” And I’m here to tell you, “Yes, you are, you are a lot…a lot lot LOT.
This will either be a huge relief to hear…or you’re looking at this page sideways thinking, “Whaaat?”
We live in a world where knowing stuff is valued above all. We love to know. We have to know. It makes us feel like everything’s going to be okay. But let’s face it: There is so much we can’t grasp. So much that is just full-on mysterious about life as a human being on planet Earth in the twenty-first century. Bear that in mind as you ask yourself…
Where did I come from? Why am I here? What do I love and why do I love it? Why do I struggle the way I do? What’s going to happen next? Why did what’s already happened happen? How will I contribute while I’m here? Why am I “me” and not “you”? Where do I end and you begin? It’s okay if you don’t know. Or if you don’t ever know. Seriously. “Knowing” is a moving target. Sometimes we hit it; sometimes we don’t. And that would be because…
You and everything around you. You think you know things about yourself, other people, the world, and then *POOF* … those things changes. There’s no escaping it. From the moment you’re born until the day you die, things are changing.
Since everything is constantly changing, is it possible ever to get to the end of a question like “Who am I?” and answer it? I don’t see how that’s possible. So maybe a good way to think about “Who am I?” is as though it were a game. But not a game where you try to “win” (as in, get to the end of it successfully). The goal of the “Who am I?” game would be to…
Keep the game going! Keep playing “Who am I?” Because being you is a process – an ongoing, exploratory process where you get to find out a little more…then a little more…and then…oh…look at that, some more of me.
Masks. Not singular, but plural. You have a collection of them. We all do. Over the course of our life we each make and wear a series of masks. They’re made out of those things that are a part of us: our body, name, stories, labels, experiences, age, social status, personality…all that.
We need our masks, we really do. They’re tools for helping us navigate the world. However, if you let yourself get tricked into thinking your mask is “who you are,” then it stops being a tool and becomes a crutch. You know, like something you use to hide behind. It happens all the time. Thinking your mask is who you are is incredibly tricky to fall for. Which is why it’s incredibly important to learn how to take a peek behind your mask…
Many people have the mistaken perception that it’s the outside of our mask that really matters because that is what’s seen by the world. But it’s the opposite, actually. The inside of your mask – what you’re dealing with on a daily, moment-to-moment basis – is the side that matters most. Why? Because it’s loaded. There’s so much inside you that you couldn’t tap into all of it even if you tried. But you should try. There’s tons in there – y’know, things like your emotions, imagination, hopes, and dreams and just your ordinary, everyday ideas, too – all of that will tell you about who you are. Want to tap into some of it? I know a way. It’s very easy. First, grab a pen and a piece of paper or sit near a computer. Then, quiet yourself and use the blank page or screen to blab what’s inside of you right out. Just let it rip. Stream-of-consciousness –style. Fast, furious, and fun. What’s fun is you don’t know what’s going to come out…until it’s out!
Once you face everything about yourself, flaws and all, you can embrace all of yourself. You get to smile and say, "I am plenty good enough." You do not need to do or have one more thing happen to you to be good enough. Fabulously flawd as you are, you are ready to shine! "You, right now as you're reading this, you are enough. In this moment, today, tomorrow and forever just as you are."