As spiritual information finds me on my journey, I learn that in order to broadcast a higher vibration, radical love must be introduced into the soul. This means that, for our own well-being, we must love each insecurity, each personal imperfection, and each negative thought and action from ourselves and others. Cultivating this love is obviously no easy task, but why? Why does the concept of unconditional love seem so unachievable, and why do we, as individuals experiencing a human range of emotions, find ourselves living in the palest shade of love?
The Misconception of Beauty
I theorize that unwavering love is so hard to find because of the social concept and misconception of beauty. I think that the original definition was meant to describe pleasing experiences of nature, architecture, and even emotions and states of being. I think the shift in this interpretation from the external to the superficial is what caused the downfall of love. Through the invention of beauty standards that we apply to our own bodies and faces, we have created an archetype for a beautiful human that is white, thin, and eurocentric. Applying the concept of beauty to how we look has been a growing bubble of hatred for those who naturally do not fit into the group of individuals widely accepted as beautiful.
The Social Media Issue
While this bubble of self-loathe has been around for years, social media is what has truly created a monster. Without intending to, social platforms have created an environment where people feel they need to perform for the beauty standard in order to receive validation and acceptance. It’s no surprise that self-esteem rates have plummeted recently in teens, as the pressure to demonstrate the version of themselves that most intertwines with the standard of human beauty is exceptional. Social media has made it increasingly difficult to radically love oneself because it enforces the idea that only some features of the mind and body are desirable through factors like likes and views. These platforms put our ideas about beauty on full display numerically, making it easy for it to seem like beauty can be measured and accomplished through some amount of alternation of the natural self.
Beauty Cannot Be Achieved
In reality, beauty cannot be achieved in any sense. It is something we innately inherit and experience through our perceptions of sight and sound and touch. Beauty at the source is not something ever intended to apply to how we look, because the body is inherently neutral. The body is a machine of organs that work together with finer features to create health. The body does not know how to be aesthetically-pleasing through our definition of beauty because our enforced-upon beauty standard excludes things like stretch marks, cellulite, acne, body hair, and fat that the body creates naturally.
Working against the ever-changing trends of body types and facial features deemed as beautiful is necessary to love yourself. Discarding ideas about beauty that only exist at a superficial level is an uphill battle since we consume these concepts every day through media and photographs and our self-image. Our minds have adapted to speak the language of the social beauty standard, reminding us to “Put on a filter”, “Cover that scar,” and “Edit that picture.” It is now time to readapt into a gentler, kinder definition of beauty that’s inclusive but body-neutral and is only used towards naturally-occurring events and perceptions we experience.
The Human Experience
Humans are beautiful in their ability to help one another, relate to others, and provide love and care. We are beautiful in our capacity to build relationships and experience unique interpretations of this dimension as only humans can. We are beautiful in our ability to emote each state of being as something that runs deep through our energy. We are beautiful in our ability to appreciate the gifts we are given and experience this wavelength of reality as lifeforms that are uniquely similar. The things we hate the most about ourselves are what makes us the most human. The way our faces wrinkle when we smile, the rolls of stomach protecting our organs, the anger and fear we experience, the frizziness of our hair, and the waves of intense emotion. These are the things that shape the human experience, and while they may not be picture-perfect, they are perfect. This realization is how you cultivate love.
What is love?
Whether you think love is a living consciousness or you’re a Fleetwood Mac fan who thinks it’s “a state of mind,” love is a healing energy that accepts every aspect of the universe as is. Love is an emotion that can be grown from the roots of our mind into our reality. Love creates the links that tie us to humanity and to our divinity. To love radically is to love every aspect of this human experience. Something does not have to be beautiful or positive to be loved. Love the negative emotions, the ugly thoughts, the unpleasant people along with the goodness in the world. Creating a true, unconditional love will take a rejection of the beauty standard and an acceptance of what is in order to broadcast a higher vibration.
Still interested? Read this article from the BBC on the relationship between social media and body image.