Words. I love words.
I love how using the proper word enables me to clarify my meaning when I am trying to explain something to someone.
The problem lies in my inability to find the right word at times.
For example, how do I describe myself?
- open-minded (that one may be wishful thinking on my part)
All of these words will work to describe me. Some of them are pretty similar, while others directly contradict the notion of the previous. If pertinacity and capriciousness both fit my personality, how can I be either? (By the way, if you don’t know any of these words- I recommend you download a dictionary app, or google them. I found a very interesting article about pugnacity and pacifism when I googled it earlier.)
So, here is the point. I am on a journey. (psst- we all are- that is what life is.) I have been told the whole song and dance about how you have to love yourself. Embrace who you are, appreciate you for you. It goes on and on. Be nice to yourself. LOVE YOURSELF. Sometimes, I am able to do that.
Other times, not as much.
People tell you to ignore the negative self-talk. The negativity that runs through your head. The worst part is, the negative stuff is just easier to believe. They tell you to look in the mirror and tell yourself “I love you.” Ugh. Don’t even get me started. Those are just words. I was raised to be strong and independent. I was told often that I was beautiful, and that I was loved.
I really have no excuse for the way that I talk to myself. I cannot explain why I judge myself so harshly.
I have a real conundrum when I look at the pictures of me working out or at the Tough Mudder. On one hand, I love that I have photographic evidence of it. On the other, I see a million flaws. I would never say the things I think about myself to another person, so why do I say them to me? I feel so strong and awesome after I workout. So, why does it fill me with so much dread?
Because I am not there yet. I told myself for years that I would workout when I was thinner. I needed to lose weight before I could go to the gym. I am not sure how I expected this miraculous weight loss to happen, I just knew that I was not worthy of the gym until it happened. hmm. This line of thought makes a lot of sense right?
It’s the whole dress thing all over again. One of my goals was to lose enough weight to wear a dress. I know, dumb. Guess how I fixed the problem. That’s right! I went out and bought a dress. I wore the dress. Even now, I feel pretty fantastic in these dresses. I still have the negative thoughts every time I look at them in the closet, telling me I am not ready to wear the dress. I am not good enough. It is a constant battle. I get a negative thought, and I either give in to it, or I ignore it and go about my merry way.
Oh, and the negativity does not stop at the physical aspects of my personhood. I constantly tell my intelligent, somewhat articulate self that I am stupid, or uninteresting. Why? Why on earth would I tell myself that? I convince myself that no one cares what I have to say. (Despite repeated assurances to the contrary.)
So, if I know that the things I tell myself are not true, and if lots of other people whose opinions I respect contradict these lies, then why are these poisonous thoughts on a constant loop in my mind? When do they stop for good?
Now, don’t get all worried about me, I have plenty of tools to combat this problem. I have ways of dealing with myself that leave me pretty much okay most of the time. I am just perplexed at the pervasive nature of the thoughts. It’s like they are professional confidence killers for hire. Who hired them?
Oh, that’s right. I did! I am the one responsible. It is irritating. One more thing I can blame myself for. Do you see the inane nature of this? It is a perpetual cycle.
So, what is the answer?
I assure you, it is not looking in the mirror and murmuring sweet nothings to myself. (If you ever catch me doing that, I probably need either food or a drink because I will have lost whatever is left of myself to this insane cycle, and it could be a symptom of hypoglycemia or something.) I seem to be doing fairly well, with constant conscientious opposition to the negativity. As long as I remain vigilant, I suppose that I just might have a chance to convince myself to shut the hell up and get on with it already.
So, I promise to ignore the little voice in my head (the one that screams louder than the rational one,) and to keep trekking along on this adventure. I am doing two more Tough Mudders. I am going back to boxing. I am going to eat well and right. I am even going to wear dresses that probably show a little too much cleavage, and wear a little too much eye makeup.
I am not going to stop having crushes on totally unobtainable men (Sergio Garcia- that one is for you.) I am going to go out-of-town to see a friend. I am going to seek to improve. I am going to work on my story (I still can’t call it a novel, but I really hope that is what it turns into.)
Despite the negativity, I am going to keep going. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this. Maybe that is the point. We all have problems. It’s a shame that mine just happens to be me.
*This whole post started with me trying to find the right word to describe myself- which led to a google search- which led to an article explaining why pugnacity was not always the best trait- which led to self-doubt- which birthed this diatribe of honesty. Sorry, I am not sorry.