Our moments after we make a mistake or do something embarrassing and immediately wish that we were never born because ‘gosh that was rubbish and stupid and I’m an idiot’.
It’s not fun. But I promise you we all have those days.
In fact, there are many resolutions to it. No cures per say, because the reality is that we’re all flawed and we all need to be flawed so that we can grow. If we were perfect there wouldn’t be any value in being good at anything, let alone great. As such, so long as we can look our flaws in the eye rather than pretending that they’re not there, or ignoring them, we can use them as a springboard for other successes.
But I’ve also got more good news for you.
Those ‘flaws’ that consume you and that get you down or stress you out? Well, when the right person comes along who truly loves you, they accept all your ‘flaws’. Not only that, but they love you for them, not in spite of them. That mole on your chin that you’ve hated since you were a child? He loves it. Your skinny, knobbly knees that you’re normally super insecure about? She thinks they’re really cute.
In short, the things about which we are harshest about ourselves are the very things which serve to make us unique in other people’s eyes.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
This is also true of memories or old scars as much as the present version of you. We all sometimes lie awake at 3am the night before an important deadline and run through a roster of all of our worst mistakes and biggest failures. But the beauty of having a partner who loves you and all of you, is that you can share this with them. Cringe together or laugh as one. You may even find that they can offer an alternative perspective from a third party that actually reframes the context of the whole situation. If you make yourself vulnerable they may end up making you feel better about something that’s plagued you for years.
More still, just think about what you would do for your favourite person, even in platonic terms.
Think about your family. Friends. Siblings. You love them.
It’s not a matter of ignoring their flaws or any potential problematic behaviour, but there’s just no two ways about it: you love them. Again, it’s not as though you have to overcome their flaws or morally negotiate the complications of their actions to love them (unless we’re in like, criminal territory, in which case, yes, do have a quick think!). No, your flaws are part of you. Society now exists in order to capitalise off of what we are told that our flaws are.
This is toxic, and indicates that the goal is to entirely separate yourself from your flaws, but that can’t be. Who we are informs the mistakes we make, and in turn, the mistakes we make inform who we are because we can learn from them.
React to them. Adapt.
That’s not only acceptable, but the most healthy way of proceeding. Therefore, having arbitrary social forces tell us about a flaw or blemish or problem that we wouldn’t otherwise have realised was an ‘issue’ is difficult to stomach. Indeed, these companies often only tell us about the flaw if they can offer us a good or service that claims to solve it. This creates a culture of hyperawareness of one’s flaws or inadequacies or imperfections as if it is anything other than the norm.
Of course we remember all the cheesy self-help posters on the wall of the guidance counsellor in High School that ‘you’re perfect just the way you are’ and that ‘other people’s success is not your failure’.
But sometimes it’s hard to put into practice.
We all think we’re the exception or the anomaly or suffering alone. But the truth is that when you meet your Person that will start to change. You won’t evolve overnight into a dazzlingly confident individual, but you will start to see that you are worthy of being loved, and in turn, loving people, warts and all.
Therefore, when you recognise that and see that another person loves your flaws, you will give yourself permission to let those flaws exist. Later on, believe it or not, you will actually learn to, if not love, then identify and acknowledge your flaws.
Maybe you will love them by the end. I certainly hope so.
Once we all remember the essential fact that we’re all worth loving, life can resume and be reignited. That is great for humanity in general too, because it sometimes seems like self-love is a secret. Or a life hack. Rather than being a quality that all existence should be concentrated with.
More still, this culture of flaw-shaming and anxiety about perfection also instils in us the willingness to lower our standards of love and forgiveness. We will forgive a lot in the world around us that we wouldn’t forgive ourselves for. Indeed, we would accept a love, as The Perks of Being a Wallflower so astutely told us, that we think we deserve. Put that in your pipe and smoke it because gosh that hits home.
We think that any person willing to love us or even look us in the eye will be the one simply because we fear they might be the only one. And again, we all have those moments.
We’re human, we’re insecure. It happens.
But the point is that even though it may not seem it at this precise moment in time, or at the bottom of the latest spiral of shame – things will get better.
Your flaws are not weapons to be used against you but instruments of improvement and seeing where you came from. The right person will come along and recognise this.
That’s not a threat, that’s a promise.
You are more than your flaws but they are part of you
You are worthy of love and don’t need to hide your flaws