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Self Love Shortcomings

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of ‘self love’ lately.

Not in a cliched, bandwagon-jumping-on kind of way, mind!

Instead, I’ve been increasingly feeling that all this persuasion to silence my inner-self critic, and the theory of 'enough-ness' to which self improvement owes much its dwindling popularity - might be deserving of some critique itself.

I appreciate that this suggestion might go against narrative that social media especially, likes to feed us through hashtags such as #youareenough and #perfectlyimperfect.

However, there is just something about the toxic positivity undertones of ‘self love’, that doesn’t necessarily sit 100% right.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally on board with the sentiment of cutting oneself all the slack that is needed to preserve peace of mind, self-esteem and a titanium sense-of-self!

What I am less comfortable with, is the fact that self-love seems to be displacing accountability, and the practice of potentially character-improving self-critique.

For example, my days are quite often punctuated with mistakes, mishaps and many a face-palm moment. All of these, I feel, deserve to be acknowledged, owned and learned from - and not dressed up with platitudes of #thisisme or #whatyouseeiswhatyouget - devoid of remorse, empathy or apology.

Of course, it would be tempting to take the ‘I am who I am’ escape hatch from the inner scrutiny, but I fear to do so would come at the cost of some fairly crucial teachable moments.

It goes without saying that - in spite of this standpoint- I still try to practice silencing my inner ‘mean girl’ on the regular, for her ‘sticks and stones’ serve as little foundation for anything remotely positive…. unlike the carefully sifted out constructive criticism.

To indulge in what some would deem a negative inner dialogue is - I feel - not so much self-deprecation, nor is it the antithesis of ‘knowing my worth!’

Instead, it’s about ensuring self celebration is seasoned with sufficient self-awareness...without which it wouldn’t taste nearly as sweet!

One of the best things to come out of this approach?

I would have to say, aside from the social currency of modesty, it is the potential for ongoing self-improvement that can only come, arguably, from enmeshing self-love… with equal parts tough love!

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