Is self-love the greatest paradox of all?
It may just be so.
Think about it. You seek love in all that you do (it’s human nature) and yet the funniest part is that the love you seek is hiding in the last place you look.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” ~ Carl Rogers
You are a paradox. I am a paradox. We are all paradoxes. We will always be paradoxes.
So what is a paradox?
Paradox-–a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.
Once upon a time, I thought I was defined by our opinions, thoughts, attitudes, likes, and dislikes. By my styles, jobs, clothes, and hobbies. And by my successes and my failures. I didn’t know this stuff was changeable. And part of the issue you and I both face as individuals and as a whole is that we don’t want to admit to a lot of who and what we are. That’s known as your shadow.
You will spend half of your life (if not more) avoiding all of the aspects that you deem dark, negative, or unlovable. I know I did!
Instead, you will judge yourself and pretend they don’t exist. So…how can you love yourself when denying half of who you are?
I see differently now. Now, I love all of me. I gave myself permission!
After a life of paradoxes, contradictions, and clinging to identities that weren’t me, I realize that at any moment I could be anything I want to be. At any moment, I am everything I have ever been and I am simultaneously none of those things. Imagine that for a moment. And the same rings true for you.
And here’s the biggest kicker of all – you can be anything in between these extremes. At any moment you can be whatever you choose to be. If you just let go. If you just accept!
Come and take a journey with me. A journey into self-acceptance, self-love, and hugging your chaos. A journey into getting real with the Yin and the Yang, the light and the dark.
Because all of it is what makes each and every one of us human.
I have been good, and I have been bad (legally speaking).
I have been shy and anxiety-ridden, awkward and panicked, and I have been an all-star athlete, bright, friendly and outgoing.
I have been a helpful, polite, well-behaved daughter, and I have been any parent’s worst nightmare.
I have been a straight-A honor roll student, and I have failed out of classes too.
I have been a dream employee, and I have been fired for doing a terrible job.
I have been a narcissist and I have been an altruist.
I have paid bills (on time) and been a stand-up’member of society, and I have been a homeless junkie.
I have had money in the bank, and I have been flat broke on welfare.
I have traveled around the world, and I have run away around the country.
I have been Zen AF, and I have been the embodiment of rage.
I have been kind and generous, and I have been mean and selfish.
I have partied with the rockstars and partied & lived with the street bums.
I have been hard as nails, and soft as silk.
I have been social, and I have been a loner.
I have had walk-in closets full of clothing, shoes, and trinkets, and I have had only what I wear on my back.
I have been love, and I have been hate.
I have been anorexic and skinny, and I have been overweight.
I have been an adoring girlfriend and homemaker, and I left all that to see the world on my own.
I have been a cancer patient and I have been the picture of health.
I have been an angry, aggressive a$$hole, and I have been a peaceful, zen yogi (this is what I strive for—often falling short).
I have been honest, and I have lied straight to the face of the one I loved.
I have been a carnivore, and I have been a vegan (this one I still practice).
I have been loyal, and I have screwed over my closest friends.
I have been a predator, and I have been prey.
I have had brand new designer clothes, and I have worn second-hand donations. I
have been manipulated, and I have been manipulated.
I have been used, and I have been the user.
I have been the picture of “success”—relationship, house, dogs, cars, 4.0 GPA in nursing school, friends, clothes, social life, and I have been the picture of ‘”failure”—homeless, drunk, strung out, angry, lying, thieving, running fool.
I have been a victim and I have been empowered.
I have been dark, and I have been light.
I used to think these things defined me, that they made me bad or good. Lovable or unlovable. Worthy or unworthy.
And the best part? Now I don’t care what anyone thinks anymore because I have made peace with my journey.
I am none of these past images, yet I am all of them. The experiences and lives you live will touch your soul to age you, give you soul wisdom and keep you hungry for more living.
I realize now that everything is just a practice.
When you can step away from the dualistic labeling and attachments that our society teaches you, you can see the bigger picture. You can shed your identities that you cling to in order to have meaning.
You can see how we are all one and the same, we are linked on a journey. We are all doing the best we can at any given moment with what we know.
When you realize that the way you see the world is just a reflection of what you truly are inside at any moment, you realize you are responsible for your own happiness and your own identities.
When you can stop and see that the person you want to label and judge is just an incarnation of what you have been at some point in your life, or what you fear being, or what you may be at another point in your many lives, you find a new softness. You find true compassion, and you drop your need to judge and be better than or less than.
We may be young or we may be old in our physical bodies but our souls are older than this. Your soul will live 100 lives in this one physical body and live thousands of lives over time. Your experiences just give you wisdom if you choose, or they can define you and control you. In meditation, you can observe these truths.
Then when you see the truths you can act accordingly. When you stop waiting for permission and you just BECOME who you are, then you will know self-love. You don’t need permission to fly and to shine.
In this wisdom, if you choose it, you find equality. You find humility and love.
And this is your true identity. Start within, beautiful soul. You are worthy.
And when you are ready for guidance in this realm – this is my specialty. If you would like to learn how you can work more deeply with me as your teacher, please click the link and reach out!
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Author: Lindsay Carricarte-Jones
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