Dear quarter lives,
Have you ever wondered why we can dish out advice so easily, yet when it comes to our own lives fail to see what is right in front of us? Have you considered the fact that we go through our whole lives seeing other peoples’ backs but never our own? Even our own face is hidden from us until we use a mirror. But the good news is there are plenty of mirrors everywhere. The whole world can be your mirror, but only if you are willing to see your reflection in it. With the current state of the world, it can be even more uncomfortable to consider the possibility that the world might actually be a pretty accurate reflection of us. It is scary; it is sad; it is heartbreaking. But until we can accept the world as it is with all the ugly, the dysfunctional, the shameful, we will never be able to accept our whole selves. Like the world we are made up of decaying skeletons as well as new growing life, and we too like the world, are desperate for acceptance. It is not about seeing the positive in the world (or in ourselves); it is about loving the world (and ourselves) exactly as it is (exactly as we are). It is about seeing ourselves and the world around us for who and what we are without trying to love them by trying to see the good in them or by fixing them. To love the world and ourselves exactly as we are today with all the dents, cracks, and imperfections, with all the anger, guilt, fear, and loneliness — that is real love. When you can love the dirty, the unspeakable, the shameful in yourself, in the world, in others — that is unconditional love. It is actually not about loving the “good”; it is about finally giving those parts that we call “bad” a break and showing them some love. You are not loving if you only love what is easy to love. Our hearts can stretch wide, so wide they can fit the whole wide world inside of them, so don’t limit your heart to a sliver of the space it can hold, let it carry all of you, let it take that weight of shame off your shoulders so you can breathe again.
Give permission to yourself to love yourself as you are, to love the people around you as they are, to love the world as it is today, and not as we hope it will be in the future or as it was in the past but actually as it really is. The world can be dark and scary in many ways, and in just as many ways, it can be full of joy and light. If we choose to only accept the light, we’ll always be rejecting one half of the world(and one half of us). Accept the darkness, it has been rejected for too long. It is screaming for our attention communicating with us through disease, conflict, and trauma (both within ourselves and outside in the world). Love your darkness, say thank you to it and make peace with ALL of yourself.
With love and always for peace,