Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Don't Feed Yourself A Whole Lot Of BS

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post from a very raw, emotional standpoint. It's the second I've written in a couple of months. Unlike the first, however, I didn't publish it. There was no deep, philosophical reason for not doing so. I simply had somewhere to be and didn't have the chance to double check it before I left. I'm glad, however, that my plans got in the way of actually putting the blog out into the world.

It's not that I didn't mean what I wrote at the time, or that I'm ashamed of people knowing how I was feeling or anything like that. In fact, while I usually try to take a deep breath of calm before posting anything overly emotional, I think it's important at times for my readers to see the "not so put together" me, to prove that I do experience those things I write about first hand, and that I truly understand how they feel.

Looking back at the post, however, I realize that I was buried in a bit of self-pity when I wrote it - something that I honestly do not experience all that often. Now contrary to the common belief, I don't have anything against self-pity... once in a while. I think it's perfectly ok to say "this sucks. I wish I didn't have to deal with this. It's not fair. I'm unhappy and I'm totally allowed to be for the moment." As long as it doesn't go on and on, I'm fine with it. But what I realized as I crawled out of this dark place inspiring self-pity as well as self-loathing, was that it I had it all completely wrong. I'd been mistakenly taking others' values for my own. I was filled with anger and resentment because of this. I thought it was directed at others for their imposed beliefs and impressions that weren't accurate of the real me. I discovered, though, that I was mad at and resentful of myself.

Don't get me wrong. I don't subscribe 100 percent to "nobody else can make you feel bad about yourself".  While technically true - they're not physically inside your brain tinkering with it - the bottom line is if you hear enough negativity, especially about something you're already sensitive about, it's going to affect you, and to me, that's perfectly normal. I realized, though, that I'd basically let the outside take over my brain. When I think about it, without any beliefs tainted by external stimuli, I'm ok with where I am. I like who I am. Sure, I have faults and weaknesses I'd like to change. I'd like to make more money (who wouldn't?). There are things in my life that I wish for that I'll probably never have or be - and I mean this literally, because it's not physically possible or at best highly not feasible. But overall, I am happy with who I am deep down. In fact, I love who I am deep down. I'm ok with the fact that my life is taking a little more trial and error than others'.  It's not ideal, perhaps, but it's not the end of the world, and I'll surely grow from it. I don't mind being overly emotional - it means I have a big, caring heart, not just for myself, but for others in my life. I'm truly able to deal with all of these things about me,  and yet I've been feeding myself a ton of BS that none of them are ok, because the outside world says they're not.

So when I looked at this draft of the blog I wrote the other day, and I dissected it a bit, I realized that the honest reply to most of the things that I felt so awful about was, "So what?" In some cases, it was "I'm proud of that. I'm happy with that." Or "I'm working on that. I am getting there, even if slowly." It brought me to the realization that (actions that hurt others not-withstanding) what truly matters is what I think of me, my life, my goals, my dreams, and my path. It's not to discount what others think. It's not that I don't take their thoughts into consideration, because they might be very helpful indeed. In the end, though, my values and my opinion of me have to come from within me. It's this that will allow me to truly be myself in my most honest form - something that I feel I've been missing a lot lately.

To start out, I might have to remind myself of this on a daily, or even more frequent, basis. But I have the knowledge, and that is a huge piece of the puzzle. I'm excited to see where it takes me. 

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