Sometimes inspiration strikes and I find myself striving to improve in all areas of my life. I want to be a better wife, mom, daughter, friend, employee, neighbor and citizen. I am going to get thinner, smarter, less indebted, more well-rounded, happier and taller. And at the same time as I’m improving in every way, I am going to learn to love myself as-is. I’ll be the same old me, but with a cleaner house, shinier hair, a discernible muscle (or two!) and a greater sense of clarity and purpose. This really does not seem like too much to ask.
Now, I do say some of that in jest but as I begin to reflect upon nearly four decades of life, I do actually find myself inspired to improve. But it’s a different kind of inspiration this time, I think. As it turns out, I might be kind of a cool human being. At least, I think so. So, now comes the part where I stop treating myself like a big old piece of crap and start shedding layers of bullshit like self-loathing, shame, guilt, self-pity, doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I have always thought I was a pretty decent version of humans, on the balance. But I also always thought that you weren’t allowed to think something good about yourself without thinking at least one bad thing about yourself to balance it out. What the what? How on earth is this a helpful thing we’re taught to believe by our families, our culture, our religions?
Instead, I’m going to be trying out a new belief. I’ve decided to believe it’s pretty useless to sit around collecting reasons why I suck. So, if you don’t mind, I’ll just be over here, not sucking anymore. And, because I’ll be busy not sucking anymore, I think I’m going to have to dispense with all the ways punish myself for sucking. It’s going to take practice to keep believing this new belief and it might take the next 40 years to unload the bad habits but that’s ok, I don’t think there’s a deadline.