I haven’t written much lately. My husband tends to feel like he’s letting himself down when he doesn’t write for a long time, but for me it’s kind of a relief. I have noticed that I tend to write when I’m sad. Or angry. Or when I just need to process things that I can’t wrap my mind around. If I’m not writing a lot, it’s a pretty good indication that I’m doing well. I’m happy. I’ve got stuff figured out. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule…
I had surgery at the end of August and I was pretty dependent on J for most of my daily needs for quite a while. (That was horrible, by the way. I had no idea that I valued my independence so much!). But once I was on my own two feet again (albeit with some pain), I was much better.
And now here I am again, which means I need to figure some stuff out. Counselor says I need to cultivate a relationship with myself. I need to learn to love myself. Forgive myself. I don’t know how to do that. She also recommends I do some kind of art, because it’s a way to be creative and explore myself without the analytical stuff that comes out when I write. I don’t know how to do that either.
But I am learning to sew. And I bought glitter. That’s a start, right?
But what about liking myself and forgiving myself? What do I like about myself?
I’m very smart.
I’m great at communication.
I’m the best (job title) that (company name) has ever had. Their words, not mine.
I have moments when I’m really fun to be around.
I can make some people laugh.
I think I see a beauty in the world that others often miss.
I’m generous and kind.
I’m a great baker.
I’m fiscally responsible.
I’m analytical (Yes, I like that about myself, but I certainly do have to keep myself in check in that regard.)
And what do I need to forgive myself for?
I’m not perfect.
I sometimes hurt the people I love.
I’m bad at keeping my home clean.
I’m not sure how to forgive God for His silence lately.
I’m not sure how to forgive God for allowing my mom to get sick.
I’m not beautiful.
I’m not as witty as I wish I was (…as I wish I were?)
I’m often lazy.
I frequently don’t do the things I “should” do.
Why does the bad stuff feel more potent than the good stuff? How can I choose to focus on the good things about myself, when they don’t feel as real or as important as the bad things?
I want to be a more thankful person. In my most authentic state, I have a tendency toward brooding pessimism, but that’s not the kind of person I want to be. How can I get a better perspective? How can I cause myself to dwell on the good rather than the bad? There’s always something for which to be thankful. How can I train myself to look for the good?
It’s 85 degrees and I’m uncomfortably hot? …or it’s so great that I’m not in Death Valley.
It’s Sunday night and I don’t want to go to work tomorrow? …or I’m so grateful to have a job and that the busy month-end is over.
I don’t have enough money to buy a new blouse as I had hoped? …or I’m glad I had enough money to pay my bills.
I’m tired of my foot hurting from the car accident three years ago? …or I’m so lucky that J and I walked away from that collision with only bruises and broken bones as opposed to brain damage or worse.
I don’t have cancer. My husband is an honorable man. I have a comfortable home. I’ve never been physically or emotionally abused. Jesus loves me. My dad made it through the surgery last week. My mom has enough money in her estate to take care of her extensive financial needs.
I have so much to be thankful for. I just need to open my eyes.
Tonight was a good night. I mean, a really good night.
I find that I often linger on the negative and somehow miss the positive. I’m not sure if this mentality is part of the human condition, or if I’m naturally pessimistic. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve been so overwhelmed with my own disappointment with my life lately that it takes more effort to push the happy moments through my own mental/emotional filter.
In any case, tonight was good, and since this is the year of my Happiness Project, I’m making a point to pay attention. J and I tried a new restaurant tonight, and we enjoyed not only the ambiance and food, but also each other. We laughed at each other’s jokes. We sampled each other’s entrees. We smiled at each other.
This shouldn’t be all that earth shattering, but for us it is. When we have good nights like this, it makes me think that there is hope for us yet. (And yet, my analytical self wonders whether it was the fact that we were in unfamiliar territory that made all the difference. Perhaps when we’re in familiar settings, it’s easier to fall into old bad habits. Regardless, I’m thankful for tonight. …and if I’m being honest, I’m also thankful for those potatoes because they were bomb!)