Stepping out of the shadow of denial: Being the type of person you like
“There comes that mysterious meeting in life
when someone acknowledges
who we are and what we can be,
igniting the circuits of our highest potential.”
– Rusty Berkus
I have had to face some hard truths lately. I’ve had to admit that I was living in complete denial of these truths. I’ve been forced to think about them, to talk about them, to lie in bed pondering them, to dream about them, and to do so without allowing a giant emotional breakdown to short circuit everything. There have been a lot of shitty moments lately because of this, but I told myself that facing everything head on was the path to a brighter future. Trust the process.
As Dory said, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”
I realized that a huge part of the problem was in how I saw myself. Some really fucked up things happened in the past, and in some cases, they were really fucked up things that I chose to let happen over and over again. Once a pattern becomes ingrained, you identify with it.
“I am the type of person who…”
Can you finish that sentence about yourself?
I am the type of person who loves weightlifting.
I am the type of person who hates hiking.
Sentences like those are easy, but what about…
I am the type of person who acts selfishly.
I am the type of person who rarely says I’m sorry.
Think about all of the people in the world and what the end of that sentence might be for each of them. Sometimes, it will be a really, really good and awesome thing. Sometimes, it will be horrific.
What if the end to your sentence is something negative? If you see yourself as THAT type of person, then what is your incentive to change? What is your incentive to make yourself a better person? Nick says that at every moment, you are either getting better or you are getting worse. Life isn’t static. Better or worse. You choose at every moment whether what you are about to say or do is something that will make you a better person or a worse person.
In the past, I probably would have laughed when I read something “inspirational” about self-improvement. Guess what? You feel better when you let yourself believe that you like yourself the way you are. It fucking sucks to admit that you don’t like who you are, you don’t like your choices, you don’t like your actions, and you don’t like where you are going to end up in 5 or 10 of 15 years if you don’t get your shit together.
“I am the type of person who…”
I decided that I don’t want to be THAT type of person anymore. I choose to be someone else, and I choose to change what my sentences are.
“I am the type of person who admits when she is wrong.”
“I am the type of person who apologizes for the hurt I have caused others.”
“I am the type of person who wakes up every day with the sincere desire to better herself.”
“I am the type of person who is obligated to help others with their own personal journeys of self-improvement.”
Better or worse.
I like these new sentences a lot better. I like the new me a lot better too.