When I talk about defects of character, I'm talking about that really ugly side of yourself that you don't want to show to anyone. I'm talking about the stuff that really causes shame and embarrassment. In all honesty, I can't even give examples because the parts I'm seeing in myself, I ain't telling you!!! THAT'S the part of you that you're supposed to love, forgive, and accept. Wow, is that a tall order. I think the challenge I have when trying to love myself is the idea that forgiving and loving that part of myself somehow excuses it. If I don't shame, scold, punish myself for my shortcomings, then will they stop? Will I change? How will I be better? I have no answer for that question. I'm still trying to figure that part out myself. I think there is a fine line between loving all of me and permitting myself to be an asshole. So, what do I do?
What do I do?
Maybe the answer is I do both. I accept and love myself and all of my flaws, even those super embarrassing, I will never tell the average reader flaws. And then maybe I also try to change. Maybe I love myself knowing that I am human and I am imperfect but I also do THINGS to make myself better. I wake up each day and say, you know what, yesterday was super terrible, I yelled too much at my kids, I ate too many hershey's kisses, I punched that guy in the face (insert horrible behavior), but today, I'm going to try to do better.
Things to make myself better:
1. Prayer and Meditation - listen, this is going to look differently for everyone. I'm not here to help you find your spiritual path, you have to find that for yourself. I CAN tell you in a general way that by getting quiet daily and asking for guidance is going to be the first step in being better at anything. This week has been terrible for me in terms of some behaviors I don't like as a parent and you know what I haven't done in two weeks? I haven't done my morning prayer and meditation.
2. Find an activity that makes you happy - for me it's yoga, it's photography, and it's meeting with other moms. It's helping people too. It's investing in myself in whatever way that means; a pedicure, a massage, a local coffee shop coffee, some blush, whatever
3. A cleansing of your wounds - I think it's very beneficial to write out your life story, everything you remember, and then telling it to a trusted person. Then, burn that sucker and let it all go. When we hold things in, it gets distorted and ugly and warps into this monster with all kinds of ancillary wounds so the only way to control the beast is to get it out. For whatever reason, words in my head sound so different than words coming out of my mouth.
4. Read - reading self help books is really good for the soul. Reading fiction books are too, but every once in a while, throw in some good old Marianne Williamson, Brene Brown, Max Strom, Melody Beattie. Just do it.
5. Travel - Seeing other places really keeps me open minded and humble. Watching what others do and how they do it shows us that our way is not the only way. And that's a good thing because when we all appreciate our differences and work together, the world becomes magical
I really wish I was perfect, or at least, my defects were a little less defect-y, ya' know? Since they're not, I have to practice what I preach and actually do the work. Like Kino MacGregor (my favorite yoga teacher) says, "remain humble, do the work, and don't covet the results".
Thanks for reading!