Thursday, March 11, 2010

Liking yourself

I'm not talking about liking what you see when you look in the mirror. That is a whole different post and something I haven't mastered yet. It will be something I am going to be working on though. I saw a cute status about it though that someone had put on facebook.

"My body is not perfect... but I nurtured my babies and I am proud! Too bad if we don't look perfect... but every mark, every line, and every bit of skin represents our beautiful babies and what we have done for them. Having a baby is no easy task! We are strong, we are brave, and we should be proud of ourselves."
I think that is a good place to start with that next goal of mine. :)

Anyway, back to the original reason for this post. Do you like who you are? Not what you look like but who you are on the inside? Why?

There is always some good and some bad in people. We are told over and over that no one is perfect. Except for Jesus of course. I like to believe that we have what it takes to become like him someday.

I haven't always liked who I was. I thought I was clumsy, forgetful, flawed, impatient, and basically just not good enough. It was frustrating to me and it also felt hopeless. There were a few events that happened in my life to shake it up a bit. Little by little I started taking those hard first steps forward. I found a path to self-improvement. I think I stumbled upon it because I was just so flippin tired of lies. There were lies all around me. It felt like a way of life even though I tried not to buy in. It was infinitely easier to lie to myself though. I lied to myself that I was happy. I was content with the direction that life was going. I convinced myself that I wasn't good enough for better and that I would be ok with what I had. I settled for a life that I knew deep down wasn't what I should have been doing. I was a casual observer because of the guilt I felt. It was easier to distance myself and just live a half-life. There was too much pain and it wasn't really happening to me. I am naturally forgetful but I started forgetting important events because I had somehow convinced myself that just observing was the way to go. I got really scared. I didn't want my life to be something muted and distant. I didn't want to forget the happy times with my children. I actually wanted to FEEL something. It seemed like I only really felt negative emotions, even though I tried to hide from them. It didn't really work. I still suffered through them but I did succeed in hiding from happiness and joy.

So how did I fix this? I am not really sure but I think that just becoming aware of the problem helped a lot. Eventually I worked up to being able to be brutally honest with myself. There is a fine line between low self-esteem and honestly admitting to your faults. I'm sure I fell off that line quite often. If it just felt hopeless or depressing, then I was going at it wrong. If it felt constructive and gave me hope that I was actually accomplishing something, then I knew I was doing it right. At first it was easier to work baby steps and concentrate on the easy to fix problems but eventually I ran out of those and knew that there was a whopper of a problem that I was avoiding. I didn't fix that problem out of the blue. There were several catalysts that kicked me into gear and almost forced me to make the hard decisions that I knew I should have made long ago. I lied to myself for a long time and justified my previous actions. I was out of chances and knew I needed to shape myself up. It felt out of my hands at the time but I'm so glad that events conspired to bring me to where I am now. Trials can bring out the best or they can bring out the worst. YOU decide how they are going to affect you. I indulged a lot in a poor me attitude. That's ok up to a point. There comes a time though that you have to snap out of it and move on with your life. Hopefully it's going in a forward motion. My favorite choir teacher used to say something to the effect that you can't stay in one spot. You are either moving forward or falling back. It really is true.

I like myself because I feel like I am moving in a forward motion most of the time. I'm honest with the things I need to work on and it gives me a goal. I also like myself because of my strengths and my talents. There were a few hidden ones that I never knew I had but life can surprise you in good ways too.

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