When You Love Yourself, But Still F*#% Up
There's nothing worse than self-sabotage.
You know you should do better--stay away from this or that or him or her, spend less, save more, go to the doctor regularly, start that project--but you still do the very thing that works against your self-interest.
Exhibit A: My addiction to Shipley's donuts this passed holiday season. I was reckless. I formed an up-to-4-a-week habit. To put this in context for you, when I'm at my most disciplined, I may have up to 4 donuts a year. A year!
My problem boils down to one of two things. Never a lack of self-love, but a lack of self-discipline or the presence of fear.
How often have you heard that you don't love yourself if you do this or that?
There's truth in that for some people and situations, particularly when the thing that's being done is at a huge sacrifice to someone's well-being or safety.
But then there are people like me. People who f with themselves hard. People who don't only love themselves, but are in love with who they are, as they are, flaws and all. Loving yourself like this has consequences.
Being in love with myself means acknowledging my humanity, including my faults.
I lack discipline, which means that:
- I'm going to occasionally f up and have that Shipley's donut knowing good and d@mn well that I'm trying to shed a few el bees
- It means that I might stay 2 months too long in a defunct relationship because I'm a hopeless hoper hoping against hope with hopeful optimism
- It means that on some days I'm going to exercise not for 5 minutes, not for 10 minutes; I'm sweating for "no minutes" even though I know exercise is necessary for me to maintain good health
Fear is present when I:
- Know that I should take action on something that'll bring me joy or success and yet I do nothing because I feel unqualified...or whatever negative feeling I feel
I supersize love myself and yet I do and have done really f'd up things.
I've learned that for hard heads like me, sometimes you have to get so fed up with yourself that there's nothing to do but do something different. Anything. Anything that stops you from f'ing up.
In the meantime, here are some things to do:
1. Be Kind To Yourself
We all f up. ALL. Being kind to yourself when you mess up is a kindness that extends to others. When you allow yourself to be human, it's easier to give that same grace to your fellow man.
2. Forgive Yourself
Which is kind of like being kind. You say, "Yep. I did it. I f'd up, but I'm going to learn from it and make sure I stay on track from here on out. I'll do better going forward." What you won't do is kick yourself. Verbally abusing yourself isn't productive or even effective. Focus on doing better. Speaking of...
3. ...Commit To Be Or Do Better Next Time
Doing the right thing isn't always easy, which is why when we do, we frame it heroically: "I was around all that good food, but I didn't eat any of it. I just stuck to my salad" or "This person was talking mad noise, but I kept my cool. I didn't cuss out that mofo like I wanted to." To this, the world responds with righteous praise and astonishment because, again, doing the right thing isn't always easy. It can be downright painful.
That's what I love about second chances. I think self-love factors less in to our mistake-making, but factors more in to how we recover. Love is in the kindness with which we treat ourselves, it's in our forgiveness, and it's the decision to push ourselves to do better.
Yeah, you're gonna f up smack dab in the middle of loving yourself. But it's ok. You'll do better next time. Trust me. You will.
Photo credit: Hoffnungsschimmer via Flickr CC