The Self-Exam.

I’m going to be really candid here. I’m going to be honest and vulnerable and go on record saying that there are things about myself that I don’t like. There are things about my personality ( and yes, things about my appearance) that I just don’t like.

Sometimes I think we all have too strong of a reaction when someone says “I don’t like ____ about myself.” It’s like we’ve all been so conditioned to immediately respond, “WHAT? NO! You’re perfect!” even when what that person might really need is for us to listen. Everyone is a little too PC for that, it seems…we’d rather keep our mouths shut and avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. But the things is, we don’t all want to be told we’re perfect and don’t need changing. We shouldn’t, anyway.

Because frankly, none of us are perfect and we could all use a little change (#heynowyoureanallstar)

Maybe it’s because in (too) many cases, a person loses track of what is GOOD and WORTHY about him/herself. When that happens, the things you don’t like about yourself become the things you hate. Once you start hating things about yourself, all that hate starts to edge out all the love. And when you stop loving yourself, things get scary. I get that. I’ve witnessed it and it sucks, to say the very least.

But there’s a flip side to this, and it’s dangerous too. It’s the complacency that comes with, “I’m fine just the way I am and don’t need to do any changing.”

And tonight, friends, I find myself contentedly caught in the middle. I’ve worked through this particular concept in counseling, and have learned that it IS possible to love yourself but have things you wish were different, or better. It’s the difference between being okay with who you are but recognizing where improvements can be made and just melting into a puddle of self-loathing.

(Yes, BTW, I said counseling. I’m a fan. Everyone should go. Seriously. Everyone.)

Anyway, like so much of life, it’s a balance we have to learn to strike. Tonight I’m allowing for some honest analysis of what I do and don’t like about myself. And it isn’t a session of “You suck”. It’s a session of, “Sometimes you tend to do this, and that sucks.” It’s not about “You’re ugly and fat”, but “You’re lovely but need to take better care of yourself.” Instead of, “You’re a failure”, it’s more “You can accomplish so much if you choose to be more disciplined.”

It’s not “Look how terrible you are!”, but “Look how amazing you CAN BE!”

You get the idea. I don’t always get it right, but it’s a practice I’m trying to master, because I want to be someone who is always seeking to change for the BETTER. I want to keep growing, ALWAYS. And I truly believe that growth can be as hindered by a lack of self-examination as by a lack of self-confidence.

The pendulum will constantly be swinging both ways, I know, but trying to catch it in the middle isn’t a bad way to spend a Wednesday night.