Lessons Learned - Zep's Perch - Kinmunity Jump to content
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Lessons Learned

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Don't speak badly about yourself. I used to be all into self-deprecating humor. I'd say derogatory things about myself, and also about my other self. It was a defense mechanism, although a very poor one. "You can't hurt me more than I've already hurt myself. I'm immune to anything you can throw at me. I'm my own worst critic"--as if that was some kind of virtue. But then one day he was all, "No, just stop. Don't do that anymore." I'm forbidden from taking part in those jokes now. Words have power. They're not as harmless as you may think. Even small ones add up over time. It's not easy to go cold turkey from that habit, especially when it feels deceptively virtuous. It's not virtuous, and it's not helping you. Don't do it. You just have to keep your eyes open because those gremlins will try to sneak in the back door when you're not paying attention. Smash them with your shoe. 

I know, I know, some people really need a good critical self assessment, right? Even if you think you're one of those people, being bad to yourself will likely cause more problems than it cures. 

Don't chew on rancid bones. This is a new one this morning, after spending way more time than I should have trying to justify something that happened years ago. Chewing on that thing is not going to make it taste any better. It's not going to solve anything. You're just obsessing over the same old stink, hoping you can make it smell better this time around. It won't work. Drop it. Bury it. Put it away. The past is gone. Find something better to chew on until your teeth stop itching. (I'm not sure where all the dog metaphors are coming from this morning.) This one is hard to do. You think you're finally going to solve it this time. But you're not. 

Love yourself. That's not a suggestion, it's an order. Don't wuss out. The actual wording on this one was, "Love yourself with the same fierceness that you love him," but that's rather context dependent. I knew what it meant to love. I just wasn't good at turning that inward. I swore that I wouldn't abandon that other self, that I would try to save him even if it meant that he might drag me along into his own hell. But he is also me. Love seemed easier when I was externalizing it. I thought I wasn't special, I wasn't worthy. The truth is that those things are irrelevant. Love is not reserved for the worthy. Being special is not a requirement. Love doesn't answer to those things. Love your enemies, and what bigger enemy can you find than the one in the mirror? Do it anyway. I'm not asking you to like them, like and love are not the same thing. If you find things to like then that's a bonus, not a requirement. Think about how much stronger you will be if you manage to pull off this challenge. 

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