Seeking My Best Self

trying to make sense of my life – and lose some weight

Oops – You Weren’t Supposed to See That

textConfession time:

The motivating force behind Seeking My Best Self – behind my recent quest for optimal health (and looks) – was a series of texts that were accidentally shared, ones I was never supposed to see. The content? A quite unflattering conversation about me. I was devastated. It undermined the relationship I had with this person. It still does.

Worse, it colored my view of myself and my other relationships. If one friend could speak so poorly of me, what did others say? I knew it wasn’t healthy, that I needed to just let it go. The problem was, I didn’t know how. How could I ‘move on’ when I felt betrayed, unloved, unlovable?

So I embarked upon a journey of radical self-improvement to ‘prove’ to them and to myself that I was better than their opinion of me.

So now you know. But while that was my original motivation, it isn’t my current one – well, not as much. You see, I’ve discovered that my friend is not the enemy. I am. Their unkind words affected me so deeply because I’ve been negligent in self-nurture, falsely naming it ‘self-indulgence’. I’m not alone – it’s a pervasive attitude in our society. I discussed this in an earlier post: It isn’t Virtue, it’s Addiction.

Self nurture is not narcissism. It’s my job to seek and to be my best self. To know myself and be grounded, so that when another person is unkind, I am unmoved. (Though probably still a little hurt. Let’s be real.)

I’m not trying to eliminate all my faults: that’s impossible. Even the Christ had a temper. What I am trying to do is to own myself. What others think of me is not my concern. What I think of me is.

This was driven home by a recent article in the New York Times. Essayist Tim Kreider wrote an article about an experience that mirrored mine: about an email accidentally shared, and the emotional fall-out that ensued. I loved his perspective:

“This makes us embarrassed and angry and damn our betrayers as vicious two-faced hypocrites. Which, in fact, we all are. We all make fun of one another behind one another’s backs, even the people we love. Of course we do — they’re ridiculous. Anyone worth knowing is inevitably also going to be exasperating.”

Read his post, I Know What You Think of Me. It helped me to forgive my friend. To forgive myself.

But I still want to lose 20 lbs and be firm and strong. Weight, weight go away! Don’t come back ANY day!

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