Do you love yourself enough to stop working on yourself yet?
Who would you be in that case?
I’m going to pour myself a big cup of Italian roast before I delve into this one, because it’s going to take some unpacking.
Loving Means Working
The title of this entry is my gut-level response to this prompt. I work on myself because I love myself. I work on my marriage because I love my husband and our life together. I work on my creative projects because I love the vision and want to bring it to fruition to share with others.
Love is not a pitcher of water that you fill up. It’s not a checkmark on a list. It’s a process of growth, discovery, pain, commitment, challenge, forgiveness, and rebirth. Love takes a hell of a lot of work.
Work is not a bad thing, in my opinion. It’s not always fun. It is most often what’s necessary.
In my previous post, I talked about my calling. My calling is to tell the hungry stories. To be the person who challenges others to grow in new ways. As a catalyst, I’m often the crone at the gates of hell holding up a torch and some tools for the road. I don’t go in with anyone. But I do tend to show up when it’s bleak and dark, and remind them that they already know the way out. I’m called to serve the role of Moana’s grandmother. Obi Wan Kenobi. Glinda.
It’s my calling to say “Look right there. That’s work you need to do in order to become more wholly, awesomely you.“
I do this with myself more ruthlessly than I do with anyone else. My husband jokes that I do more work in my journal before he wakes up than most people do in a week. The reason I can serve this role for others is because I’ve worn the path into myself to smooth sand. I know the way in. I know the way out. I can guide others.
Love demands work. I will add that work demands love. To do deep soul-work on oneself demands that you love yourself enough to commit to seeing it through. It takes courage and trust and vulnerability.
If you think trust and vulnerability are easy, please let me know, because I would like to learn from you.
Who Would I Be If I Didn’t Need Work?
If I didn’t need work, I would no longer be a human being.
I don’t know whether that’s Susan Piver’s goal in asking this question. (She is a Buddhist teacher, so that’s my hunch.)
Loving Myself vs My Ideal Self
The other way you could interpret this question is one of the ideal self. There is a question about who we are striving to become. Where is the finish line? Clearly, I don’t believe there is one.
I was originally going to post Amanda Palmer’s official video for the only song I can play on my ukulele, but decided instead, to go for trust and vulnerability. So here I am, with a messy house, no makeup, and frowsy hair – singing the only song I know.