Love your cracks!
An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, which each hung on the ends of a pole she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”
The old woman smiled. “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”
Like the cracked pot, I spent a lot of time trying to hide my flaws, change them or ignore them. This was very hard and in the end did not serve me or my environment.
Now I know that the only way to really allow our unique diamond to shine is to love it and accept it 100%. Love and accept ourselves 100%. Embrace every little flaw that we have. Speak to ourselves like we would speak to our dearest friend, or to our children. Ask ourselves what would make us happy and feel fulfilled.
While in an emergency case, on an airplane, it is crucial that we put on our own oxygen mask, before doing it for our child or the person who sits next to us. The same applies for ourselves. It is important that we first provide ourselves with the love we want to receive.
The meaning of loving ourselves is quite misunderstood. Selfishness and loving ourselves are two terms that are often confused. Loving ourselves starts from self-respect. It is important to respect our wants, needs and the moments we enjoy. It starts from us and within us. It is unnatural to expect other people’s respect and love when we don’t do it ourselves.
Most of us are wasting our lives, waiting to be loved by other people. But love comes the other way around. The first step is to love ourselves and only then, we are able to attract other people who have the ability to truly love us. Accepting ourselves is the first step of love. Only then do we allow ourselves to shine!