‘You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection.’ ~ Buddha
Vulnerability. I originally wrote this entry in conjunction with another one of my posts but it felt strange and exposing to put it out there with the possibility of others to read it so I cut it. Which is bizarre, because very few people in my life actually know I have started e-documenting life. This was purposefully intended, so I could write with little restraint and I could write for the joy of writing, delving in and out of topics of interest as well as keeping an honest account of city life when I arrive in Calgary (again). I don’t want to censor my words or omit details and viewpoints. Not that I mind if someone I know should stumble upon it, but, and I can only describe it like this, I don’t like people watching over my shoulder when I’m writing. Does that even make any sense?
Loving yourself isn’t easy, narcissistic or self-indulgent. I am, without doubt, my harshest critic – my perfectionist streak demands I stay tweaking project reports till the early hours of the morning till they’re done to my standard. I have been known to finish exams, disassemble the questions, picking them apart and then feel sheepish when I get a good grade. I have overanalysed conversations and worried about things that are not worth worrying about.
I wish I could tell myself – ‘Enough is enough, stop it, you are good enough as you are‘.
My mother always said the problem was I didn’t believe in myself enough. That I could do something well, and be in disbelief that I really had achieved that.
I’ve become immune to the that stress and I guess it’s become an ingrained part of who I am, living life at 100 mph when I need to get something done. Overanalysing. Because that’s what I’ve always done and I haven’t cracked under that self-imposed pressure.
I don’t think I did start believing in myself til I was about 19. I was always very unsure of myself, passing myself off as average and convinced I would never be as bright as him, brilliant at public speaking as them, as pretty as her. I am now convinced everyone has their time to shine and can be any of those things and so much more besides. It’s only over the past few years I’ve learned to accept myself for who I am, I realised this is me and I need to work with that. It’s pointless wishing otherwise, or watching life blur as it passes you by. I tell myself, I am smart because I question the world, I have a furious appetite for knowledge and books, and I work hard to understand. Leaps and bounds of confidence has made me fearless of things I would have run from before. And I’m starting to graciously accept compliments instead of brushing them off or thinking people are ‘just being nice’. Because sometimes when people say ‘great contribution’, ‘wow that dress suits you’ or ‘we couldn’t have done it without you’, they might just actually mean it.
So: believe in yourself, silence that inner critic occasionally, nothing is impossible if you’re prepared to put the effort in to make it happen, ride out the storms, embrace challenge and acknowledge you deserve the good things that befall you. Feel gratitude for the little things in life and enjoy life’s pleasures and nature – don’t let it pass you by like so many people do and it will make you feel thankful for being in the world.
Dont: feel guilty about relaxing, sweat the small stuff especially that you have no control over – it’s wasted energy that could be directed somewhere more worthwhile.
Learning to love yourself is a challenge but I think when you have nailed it you’ll be a lot happier in life. Self-scrutiny without limits can be more destructive than we realise. You are good enough.