I feel most loved when my ugly parts don’t push you away…when you touch my hand letting me know it’s okay to open my eyes because you haven’t left. You’re still there; you’re still loving me…maybe even a little more.

~nighttime thoughts

I know what popular psychology and new spiritual teachers say about self-love. I’ve read many of the books and regurgitated lots of the rhetoric. It sounds nice. And many contain elements of truth.

But I’ve lived.

And in living I’ve come to know through experience and engagement rather than removed theory based on clinical — or esoteric — observation and reflection.

Nothing is more intricate than the human heart.

What can we deduce about the importance of self-love to healthy relationships? 

We all know it’s essential. Nobody has ever argued that.

Still, there are many ways to reach the top of a mountain. Not everyone is an avid affirmer or can maintain lotus pose until the quiet comes.

Some find quiet in the arms of another. Some see beauty – and purpose – in the sloppy breakdowns and epic blow-ups.

And when we do … when our ugly parts come up to take a breath of air … we’d rather not be alone.

This is a sacred path too. 

Maybe the solo hero’s anthem so beloved of the Eurocentric West will never be ours to sing. But I am a dusky-colored woman of indigenous lines darker than fertile earth.

We’ve never been under the illusion of a self-made anybody. We’ve always known it takes a village. Period. 

Even GOD didn’t want to be alone in the great IS-ness of Her majesty! She wanted to see love reflected to her … maybe even needed it.

And even though that love isn’t perfect, the journey is more breathtaking than any conceived ideal.

So we f*ck it up, and make ripples.

Our choices are pebbles that break up the perfect reflections of how “they” say it should be.

Yet, this is what makes us brave:

We’ve been stung with disappointment, washed pus off the imperfections of our lovers, prayed beneath falling skies, second-guessed our faith, regretted future decisions and spent innumerable nights at rock bottom; yet, we are inspired to love.

Our ugly parts are a testament to who we are: miracles.

A miracle is an impossibility made manifest; it is evidence of undiscovered laws of Nature. And you just may be one.

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