The other day I was talking to one of my dearest friends. He was unhappy with aspects of his physical appearance, in particular his tummy. He doesn't feel it's flat enough (how many people out there have this same complaint, seems like a lot!) We talked about cultural and familial influences and after assuring him that his tummy was actually pretty awesome, sexy and cute, I heard myself say to him, "...also, it's natural to look at yourself and see flaws, everyone does." After the words came out of my mouth I started to question them - is it really in our nature to see things wrong with ourselves?
I think we all have the tendency to mindlessly repeat things to each other and to ourselves. What happens unfortunately, is that we start to believe these ideas without really questioning them to see how valid they are. When I looked closer at my mindless statement that "it's natural to look at yourself and see flaws" I clearly saw that I couldn't fully get behind that idea. How is it natural to find fault with oneself? To me it seems like finding flaws with oneself is more a byproduct of early familial conditioning and then the cultural influences that we encounter day in and day out. God forbid anyone without a perfectly flat tummy feel perfect, right? Or what if you have a big nose? What about small boobs? That's ridiculous and no way to live! I'm not saying I'm against people doing things to make themselves look better, I'm just talking about not viewing these things as horrible traits that need to be eradicated, airbrushed to death or hidden at all costs. I'm talking about stopping the hateful feelings toward them.
After thinking about our these things for a day or so I wondered what if, one day, I decided that I was entirely without flaws? What if I decided that those things that I've always considered "flaws" or "imperfections" were just...THE WAY I AM? The way I was built, the way my genes decided to come together and form...ME. What the fuck is a flaw anyway? It's what someone, somewhere, decided wasn't ideal. It's like I didn't even have a say in it - I just absorbed this idea of what a flaw was and just kept believing it. I'd rather be the one deciding things, so I'm making the decision that I'm actually flawless! That's pretty cool to have that much power, right? :-)
I'm not saying that I'm going to all of the sudden LOVE these attributes formerly known as flaws...all I'm curious about is what would happen if I stopped viewing them as flaws? What if I stopped seeing them as flaws to be fixed, flaws to be hidden, flaws to be embarrassed about? I don't know what will happen, but I'm gonna find out. I'm flawless, this is just me. And if someone disagrees and think I am flawed in some way, they can go stand in line with all the other people waiting for me to give a damn.
What would happen if we stopped viewing ourselves as works in progress? Perhaps some would consider this an aimless existence, because if you're not constantly working on yourself, then what are you doing with your life? I'm not suggesting we not strive to grow, I'm simply posing the question, what would it feel like to know that you have nothing to "fix" about yourself and instead of spending your life perfecting and working on yourself, you spend your days striving to expand and express your already perfect self more and more fully and deeply every day? I don't know, but I have a feeling it's gonna be pretty sweet. I'll let ya know.