Thursday, March 11, 2004

Liking Myself

It must be spring. Everyone is full of resolutions for new beginnings in their lives. It’s a more "resolutionary" time than New Year’s. Me? I’ve quit trying to board that bus.

I spent my whole life NOT being content with myself. Never satisfied with anything I’ve had, been or done (with the possible exception of my marriage.) I’ve been under-employed, over-anxious, hyper-sensitive; not had enough patience, schooling, spiritualism, free-time, down-time, over-time…fill in the blank. At some point, while I was battling the demons that pursued me during my "bunch of bad years in a row," I threw in the towel on self-improvement. I just got utterly sick of not liking myself. I needed a friend SO badly, and I realized that the first and only person fit for that position was ME.

At first, I was a pretty crappy friend. I wasn’t always there when I needed me. Or I got a little over-zealous in protecting me—either building walls, or sallying forth beyond them with my sword swinging. Eventually, as I realized I was alienating everyone I met, I got off my horse and put down my sword. Punched holes in the walls. It was then that I started to blossom in the sunlight of my own friendship.

Who doesn’t yearn for unconditional love, and yet, how many of us have learned to confer it upon ourselves? Why can’t we turn to the person who knows us best, and expect that person to stand by us in spite of our short-comings, sharp edges, and uncertainties? I am not completely in that zone yet. But the part of it that I inhabit is so…restful. I don’t feel like I’ve stopped growing, changing, or trying. It’s just no longer the first thing I think about when I look at myself. I think, "This is me. This is who I am, who I’ve always been. And it’s okay!" These days, I look for situations in life that work for who I am. Not for who I should be, or who I want to be. I try to fit my life to ME, rather than beating the crap out of myself trying to fit myself to a life I think I need to have. I almost wrote that I’ve learned to forgive myself, but why should I do that? Do I ask, or want, anyone else’s forgiveness for being who I am? I think the word I’m looking for is "embrace." I’ve learned to embrace myself—the "good" AND the "bad." It has brought me a glimmer of the first real peace I have ever known.


  1. I think that the best part of aging is reaching this point where you really start to love yourself for who you are and stop trying to live for other people. It's such a long journey, though. I'm happy that you are finding a sense of peace. You're a good person and you deserve that.

  2. You are so lucky, I am still trying to get where you are. Kristi

  3. For someone who is trying to make changes, I can only say that this is truly inspirational. There are times I come close to embracing myself, but I know that I'm still a long way off, and I'm still learning how to be a better friend to myself. I'm a really good wall builder. You've shown me a perspective I really needed to see. : )

  4. Brava! A glimmer of peace is as much as many of us ever really hope for.

  5. Well, you are very wise if you've learned to accept yourself for who you are. So many people struggle with that! I think there needs to be a compromise between wanting to improve yourself, without thinking the present you is inferior. Looks like you're achieved it. :-)