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The Secret to Loving Yourself, Flaws and All


You know that thing when you start thinking about one little event/conversation/dumb thing you said/bad decision you made, and it soon spirals into a mental list of everything you’ve done wrong since the beginning of time? Well, I found myself falling down that rabbit hole the other day when a wonderful thought stopped me in my tracks:

What if you were a character in a novel you loved?

Think of one of your favorite characters — it could be in a novel, or a great film or tv show. All great characters have some serious problems to deal with (whether internally or externally), they sometimes make questionable decisions (Holden Caulfield), break the law (Lisbeth Salander), and doubt themselves (Katniss Everdeen) — but we love them anyway, flaws and all. Why? Simply put, because we have some distance. We can see the greater arc of their story, and we identify with their struggles. Why can’t we do this for ourselves?

Well, just imagine if you could look at yourself from the outside. Think of all of the worst mistakes you’ve made: the wrong-turns, the royal screw-ups, the missed chances, the things left unsaid. If you could get some distance, wouldn’t you actually be…lovely? Imperfect, intriguing, and lovable, despite (or even because of) the worst of you?

Just for today, why not see how it feels to give yourself the same sort of compassion you usually reserve for characters in books? I know this is different from my usual sort of posts, but I thought we could all use the encouragement. : ) Have a lovely day, and be kind to yourselves, friends!

hugs, Laura

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Kirsten March 6, 2014, 1:06 pm

    As a reader — and a regular rabbit-hole-faller-inner — I love thinking about this in this way. Thank you for the prespective.

  • Stephanie March 6, 2014, 1:41 pm

    Wow, I really enjoyed this post as it was the first time I looked at my one big life regret in a whole new way. I imagined my favourite character, Amelie, and what I would have said to her had it been her instead of me in the situation. Thanks for helping me start to have compassion towards myself.
    Stephanie´s last [type] ..Put me in,Coach

  • Anne March 6, 2014, 1:52 pm

    Lovely post Laura; wonderful idea. A personal story. When I was young, my husband left me (and our 2 small children) for a younger woman. I thought it was the end of the world. But it spurred me (after a year or two) to go to law school. I had a wonderful legal career that I would not have had if not for what I first saw as “the abandonment.”

  • Lauren March 6, 2014, 7:10 pm

    What a lovely idea! Sharing this :)

  • Robyn March 6, 2014, 10:49 pm

    Thanks Laura for sharing this. Now I just need to come up with a character from a book….

  • Caris March 7, 2014, 10:35 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is wonderful! It can feel so scary being stuck down THAT rabbit hole, especially when you try so hard to scamper to get out. But really, we just got to sit down and remember we’re not the mess we made (and that leads us out of our holes). This post is lovely; thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle March 10, 2014, 9:19 pm

    This is a really lovely post and I like the idea of thinking of myself as a character in a book! Its true that we are the writers of our own story and we can change the punch line and the ending if we like we just need to start writing our happy ending :)
    Michelle´s last [type] ..Clearing The Reno Rubble

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