“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” — Rumi
We all want to be loved. We want to belong and we want to be special. We ache for connection. Yet, sometimes the heart grows hard to protect itself. We build walls around ourselves to stay “safe,” isolating ourselves in an attempt to avoid the pain of rejection.
Not fitting in has often been my experience—and a desire for approval has often driven me over the years. I was one of those kids who were almost always the last choice when it was time to pick teams in gym class. I yearned to fit in. But, no matter what, I would still often find myself feeling woefully out of place.
Finally, it sunk in (after many years, mind you): The ultimate love—the ultimate act of compassion and kindness you can give—is to love yourself. This does not mean you have to be selfish. It means that you accept yourself first, that you don’t worry or wait for—or need— approval or acceptance from anyone else in order to be whole and loved. I’m the one that I’ve been waiting for, just like you’re the one that you’ve been waiting for.
You are whole and complete—just as you are flawed like everyone else. You make mistakes. You’re beautifully imperfect. Each of us is like an exquisite, yet chipped, teacup (That’s right, I said you’re a beautiful, delicate teacup!). The glory and the beauty in each of us lie in our imperfections: It’s where the magic happens.
Give yourself the gift of gentleness and compassion. Learn from your mistakes; don’t kick yourself. Grow. Keep walking. Share what you’ve learned with others. This message is as old as time—but it’s timeless simply because it’s true.
Love is an energy and it’s everywhere—it’s right there inside you. If we are looking for love outside ourselves we are being inauthentic. We become a changeling when we look to others for validation, shapeshifting to meet circumstances, situations, and what we think everyone else wants (boy, have I made mistakes with that one!). We become mercurial and unclear. And in that murkiness, we lose ourselves.
Even if our intentions are good—even if all we want is to make people happy and receive their love and approval, if you’re not authentic it will show. And it won’t work. It’s manipulation, regardless of intentions.
At the end of the day, put your energy into simply being you. Love everything about yourself—the good, the bad, the ugly. The light and the shadow. Lay all your cards on the table. How someone responds to you is their business. They may love you; they may not. But their response is theirs, just like yours is yours.
Put your energy into your “real” work: Just be you and bring your magic to the world.