Flaws are hard to admit. I could say that I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been busy, but that wouldn’t be the entire truth. In the spirit of full disclosure, I haven’t been updating my blog because vulnerability is difficult for me. I’m going to let you in on a little secret that I’ve been keeping to myself for too long…
I know you’re probably laughing at my obvious attempt at a joke, but I assure you, this is something I need to get off my chest.
Blemishes riddle me with abandon – I’m the Swiss Cheese of human beings. If I was a compound, my elements would be imperfections. There is no amount of alchemy or modern science that can fix me.
Admitting my flaws used to send me into a shame spiral. Here’s an example of just how far I’ll go to avoid admitting I’m imperfect.
You know those well-meaning women that ask, “When the baby is due?” simply because you are wearing a tunic? Most women respond with a derivation of “I’m not pregnant you dimwit.”
I take self-loathing to a new level. More often than I’d like to admit, I have puffed out my belly, grabbed it, and responded with some b.s. date and silently prayed the meddling stranger didn’t ask to feel it, because having a stranger grab last night’s burrito might have sent me over the edge. When I was asked by a masseuse if I had children, I responded with the name’s of my niece and nephew. I even showed her pictures.
And you might be wondering to yourself, why would a sane woman do this?
- Because I’m ashamed of my fatness (US Size 12-14).
- Because I’m embarrassed to open the “why I don’t have children at 30” box– especially with strangers.
- Because it pains me to contradict people, especially in a way that “disappoints”them.
Just typing this makes me want to cry. I’m not honoring my truth, life, and reality by burying it.
Covering up my shame with lies, even innocent ones, is self-harm.
Why do I function with this default setting that if it isn’t been deemed perfection by societal standards, it is a flaw? It isn’t healthy that the realization of my flaws carves up my self-esteem into thin slices. Verbalizing my inadequacies doesn’t diminish my worth. This fallacy is deeply engrained in my psyche –even authoring this blog post has me sweating bullets of shame.
Until recently, I thought my flaws hindered my “best life”. If only I were prettier, thinner, smarter, richer, more savvy, I’d have the life I was “supposed to”. Thankfully, life smacked me upside the head (a lot).
This life – flawed, messy, juicy – is the best life. My perceived “flaws” are just a fraction of my composition — a whole person who is loved, valued, and respected.
Isn’t forgiveness, compassion, and love a right I owe myself first, before extending the courtesy to others?
My gigantic ass knocks over bicycles and small children. “Cucumber with anxiety” is a perfect summary of my existence. I care more about books than most people. Despite the fact that I’ve studied Arabic for ten years, I can only have stunted conversation. Flirtatious by nature, I tend to stir the pot more than most. I raise my voice when I care about something (always).
But, I’ve got strengths surely!
Someone tell me I’m good at something, please?
Can anyone hear me?
Did I mention, I’m insecure?
Yes, Kate. We get it. Your flawed. Big deal. Isn’t everyone? What’s the problem?
The problem is that that a lot of times, the “flaws” we are pressured to erase aren’t actually flaws at all. Muslim women, women in general, are constantly told “how to be perfect”. If you want to be perfect, do X, say Y, feel Z. Enough with the madness already!
Most things we see as “flaws” are simply differences. If the global population consisted of only size-two extroverts with perfect skin who catered to their husbands every whim, it would be an extremely boring place. And probably pretty creepy. So, here’s to me (and you) acknowledging our flaws. Here’s to us, choosing acceptance.
Self love is must! And know that we are beautiful with all our flaws! Beautiful post ma shaa Allah! ❤️
Jazak’Allah khair! Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂
You are so brave for writing this <3 Loved how you ended this post by saying this world would be boring if everyone was the same- so true!
I do have to admit, it took me awhile to summon the courage to hit “Submit!”
We have to love ourselves and certainly everyone has their own flaws. And it’s absolutely about acceptance as your last statement. We have to accept and live by it. Let surround ourselves with people who love us by who and what we are not with those judgemental type.
I agree it is a must, but also a journey. I think part of growing and becoming “adult” is to begin to love who you are.
Love your bravery in admitting that you are flawed…not many would….
And as you say what we may perceive as flaws aren’t necessarily flaws. We are all beautiful and need to learn to love ourselves
Flaws are relative right? I’ve always found that we all are so busy worrying out our “flaws” that we can’t see anyone else’s anyway! ha ha ha
We all have our own flaws and insecurities and social media is just making it worse. But bravo for voicing out your insecurities and writing about it. We all hide our flaws and nobody is perfect out there some have physical flaws while others deal with emotional ones and some with both. We just got to accept and beleive that these flaws are the ones that make us unique and special and we should try to focus on the positives such as may be you are well spoken or you have a good smile or even better a kind heart. Good looks are so overrated and I would prefer a friendly, smart or funny person anyday over a good looking one.
I agree that social media has initiated this type of comparison that isn’t healthy! We are looking at snapshots of lives and feeling inadequate! It is very important to gain perspective and disconnect!
I enjoyed reading every word Kate.
We are all definitely “flawed” in our own unique way, I used to always want to change and be anything but myself, I tried so hard.
After losing my parents I somehow figured that there are so many more things to enjoy in life and cherish than some boxes our society made.
After hitting 30 I think I got so much blurring out of my eyes. I now finally don’t care about the standards that they made, I simply don’t care at all! we need to love ourselves and count how many blessings we have in our lives, we can see, eat, sleep, function normally isn’t that enough for us to say thank you, Allah! and accept our beautiful flaws,
Your sense of humour is just so brilliant mashallah x
Thank you 🙂 That means a lot! <3 It is very true that we should just count our blessings and focus on enjoying the time we have!
Amen to that! Self love has to be first love in order to love and be compassionate towards others! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for reading!
aww – I am now on a journey of self-love, it takes time, courage and effort but all worth it – loved reading this!
I think that journey is never-ending! A daily intentional direction!
You are incredibly brave for sharing this. Every journal entry I’ve written since I was 13 years old started with a list of my flaws, even now, my preoccupation with them usually leads me to writing in my journal. I say this, not from a soapbox, because I still struggle, but as a friends, I realized that my focus on my flaws were imprisoning me. We have so many liberties, mashallah. Do something everyday that scares you, is some of the best advice Ive recieved. Peace and Salam. Natasha
That is quite powerful, “the focus on my flaws was imprisoning me”. That is exactly why I wrote the post, because my consciousness and fear of rejection was stopping me from sharing my writing. How wonderful it is to give yourself the freedom to just be! Salaams 🙂
Your writing comes from heart and it’s really makes a very powerful mark and memory on readers.
May Allah bless you with the best and be happy