The United States is a very do-it-yourself country. People here are fixers, remodelers, creators and “Look what I did!”-ers. We love to fix up our kitchens, make our own baby food, and run our own businesses.
In recent years, the fix-it itch has turned inwards. More than ever, people are interested in how individuals can better themselves and be healthier, happier, and more abundant. In many ways, this is a good thing. Self-improvement and a commitment to self-care are what inspire healthy eating, regular exercise, and positive thinking. (Hey, it’s also what keeps life coaches like me in business!)
But I think we may need to slow down when it comes to taking a wrench to every area of our inner lives. Not every inch of our minds, bodies, and spirits is meant to be tweaked, fixed, and upgraded. In fact, I want to propose something radical to our do-it-yourself culture when it comes to self-love:
You are perfect. Put away your hammer and nails. You’re not a fix-‘er-up.
It’s easy to get sucked into the myth of “bigger, better, faster” even when it comes to our relationships with ourselves. We are told to optimize our bodies, our work habits, our communication skills. So it’s understandable why so many people seek to poke and prod at their inner selves, thinking that self-love is a lot like remodeling a bathroom.
But the tools for loving yourself aren’t at Home Depot.
You can’t pay $19.99 to learn how to love yourself in 30 days or less. Self-love isn’t a 5-step process that you can look up on YouTube.
In fact, the whole foundation of loving yourself is accepting that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you—not a thing to be fixed. You are a masterpiece, not a work-in-progress. And you don’t need a “How To” manual to be yourself.
What you may need is trust, which is what self-love really is, anyway. Trusting yourself enough to be yourself. Today. So many fix-‘er-up projects are about achieving some fuzzy future vision of bigger, better, or faster. Thus, planning and dreaming and imagining what is to come completely absorbs living in the moment and enjoying what is actually going on around us. But you’re not a fix-‘er-up, which means you don’t have to wait to live your life. You are perfectly made to do that, no repairs or improvements necessary.
When you realize that, you can start living and enjoying your life, instead of remodeling it. Save that for your bathroom.