Recently I got an old tattoo recolored. When reading up on how to care for it (because I forgot when I got it the first time) it said to wash it with antibacterial soap and keep it moisturized. The article said, once it starts to peel, don’t pick at any scabbing, just let if fall off over time or during the gentle cleaning process. It warned that picking at the scar can ruin the tattoo or cause light spots that will have to be touched up.
Although I read the warning, I noticed how uncomfortable I felt seeing my tattoo peeling and not being able to fix it and make it look pretty. When I looked down at my arm, I didn’t want to see the mess; I wanted to see the beautiful finished product. It would be nice if I could cover it up until it was healed, but the instructions also said to keep it uncovered so that it can breathe. Recently, I realized I not only felt this way about my tattoo; but that’s also how I see myself. I’m currently going through a healing process and a lot about me is surfacing. Like the tattoo, I want to hurry and fix what I see “wrong” with me so I can look and feel better. Today, as I was venting to my sisterfriends, one of them asked me, “What is your truth?” I typed the scary things that I didn’t want to admit to myself or anybody else. Afterwards, I felt numb and wanted to escape from myself.
That was my pattern. I face the truth and then I want to distract myself to avoid feeling what it’s like to sit with the truth. But in that moment, I wanted to try something different. I asked myself, “What does wholeness look like in this space?” My answer to myself was, “It looks like a beautiful mess.” Wholeness looked like admitting my truths, owning my flaws, and standing up in it. Wholeness is having the capacity to see my flaws AND to see myself as the masterpiece God created. I didn’t need to be covered up. I needed to see myself exposed. Instead of beating myself up like I would normally do, I sat with myself and just affirmed me. I let ME know that it was okay to be where I was. The moment was perfect and necessary. It provided an opportunity for me to extend love and acceptance to myself, just like I do with others. Just like God does with me. It didn’t serve me to judge myself for how I got into this mess; that didn’t matter. What matters is that I’m healing by learning how to embrace me in the bad times and see these moments as precious. What matters is that I’m practicing connecting with myself on a deeper level. A level I had never gone to before….The level of creating true intimacy, in the mess. As a result, I could see myself standing up tall in my mess. It was beautiful!
We all have flaws, but how often are we able to be with those flaws and gently love ourselves through it all? If you’re like me and have a habit of beating yourself up when you see your imperfections, I invite you to try a different approach. Love on you the way you would love on a little child who came to you with their flaws. You’re worthy of giving yourself that kind of love. I know you want to “pick at your scabs” through judgment and rush through the process so you can “look” better; but doing so may result in going through it all over again. So imagine what it would feel like to look at your WHOLE self in the mirror and accept where you are. Envision what it feels like to love YOU through it. Visualize the strength that would develop. Feel the peace and connection you would experience. Find the beauty in embracing all of YOU, including the mess. It’s beautiful!
~Shavon Carter, The YOU Relationship Coach
Share your thoughts with Shavon by emailing hear at firstname.lastname@example.org.