(This is how I feel if brunette me beats up blonde me)
I’m reminded of this fairly often by friends, my mom, my therapist. “You are one of the hardest people on yourself I’ve ever met!”
Isn’t everyone? Aren’t we all hard on ourselves? From my biased perspective, that’s what I believe. There’s a tiny bit of me that thinks everyone thinks like I do when it comes to self-loathing. But then someone says something like this to me, and I realize I’m probably more alone than I realize.
I’ve spent a few years on a few therapists’ couches coming to understand why I am the way I am, and I’m not going to bore you with those reasons. Suffice it to say, the belief that I’m not good enough or don’t measure up is deeply rooted in my early childhood and I’ve forgiven everyone and anyone who nourished these beliefs.
That being said…
These beliefs still rattle around my head. They’re something I fight against every day. They usually revolve around my weight and food issues, but the incident that prompted this blog post came from my writing life. I had a deadline to meet last Friday. I had to have two pieces of writing (15 pages each) submitted by Friday in order to be critiqued by an agent at a conference in September. These past several weeks have been crazy busy for me. I’ve had no time to sit and write and be creative, but the pieces I submitted had already been worked on and read by my writing group. Still, I wanted to tweak them and strengthen the prose. I could strengthen and tweak and revise until, well, forever. Yep, I could do it forever.
Anyway…I lamented the fact that I’d just submitted the pieces without much revision to one of the members of my writing group. “I’m concerned, because I don’t feel I submitted my best work,” I said in an email.
She promptly replied that what I’d sent in was just fine. She’s the latest person to utter that, “You’re one of the hardest people” sentences from above.
Two weeks ago it’d come from my therapist, and this was far from the first time she’d said it to me. That time it was due to my lamenting, (yes, more lamenting…) the fact that I’d snapped at my youngest daughter in a restaurant and made her feel bad. Tears commenced, apologies followed and forgiveness was granted, yet I could not shake how horrible I felt. When I worked through it with my therapist we concluded that yes, I made a mistake, but I’m a human mother and we all make mistakes.
This being hard on myself also has to do with the fact that I’m a first born who likes to please other adults and who doesn’t like to make mistakes. But who does? No one chooses to make mistakes, right?
So then I saw this quip from one of my favorite sites, Just Eat Real Food, and it reminded me of what I need to be reminded of almost every day:
So I'm working on it...today as I did yesterday as I did the day before that. I hope it gets easier, because being hard on yourself is exhausting!