Lately I’ve been reading a number of bloggers (like her and him) who are working their ways through a list of writing prompts called 30 Days of Truth. Because I both like a number of the prompts and am a gigantic copycat I’ve decided to do the same.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is the list of prompts/questions:
Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself
So, Day #1. Something I hate about myself
When I first started thinking about this prompt I found myself wondering how on earth I would narrow the list down to one thing to talk about. I could talk about my body (oh, stomach, why do you look like that? Face, how can you have both zits and wrinkles?), about my character flaws (I’m competitive and jealous and impulsive sometimes. And I like to gossip more than I’d like to admit to and I can be so lazy), about the mistakes I’ve made (massive credit card debt in my 20’s, people I’ve hurt with my words and actions). I could fill a whole month of posts with the things about myself that I’m critical off.
But the more I thought about it the more I realize that, for me, at this stage of my life it just isn’t helpful or useful for me to pick at old wounds and to use the word “hate” to describe parts of myself.
To be sure, I am flawed and always a work in progress. There are times when I embarrass myself and when I fall short as a person and a parent and a wife and a friend. But I’ve spent a lot of time and money in my 20’s sitting in a therapist’s office doing the work to learn to believe that I was a worthwhile person, some one deserving of love and kindness and peace and happiness.
What’s more, I’ve learned (though I sometimes need reminders) that self-hatred isn’t motivating. Dwelling on the things that I’ve hated about myself in the past has usually not spurred me on to make good changes. It usually led to a bad cycle of shame and feeling worse about myself and hating more and more things about me.
Ultimately, I have to live in this skin everyday. I have to live in this mind everyday. I am my most important relationship. And I don’t hate myself.