Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Own Goodness

Originally, the whole idea of writing out my worst faults and thoughts about myself was to provide a foil for my goodness. I was going to write a list of all the things about me that are good and wonderful and, ultimately walk away celebrating who I am and where I am going.

Except this day, this week, this month, this year it seems I'm having a hard time saying those positive attributes about myself. Not that I'm dwelling on my negatives or don't realize my own goodness, just that speaking what I think is worthy about myself out loud suddenly makes me feel very self-conscious. And uncomfortable.

Ironic, of course, because I'm generally not a self-conscious person. In fact, I would say I tend towards brashness and overconfidence (again, to a fault), not modesty.

Or perhaps I'm learning that I don't need to speak my goodness out loud. I know those things. I don't need to hear them, I don't need to write them because I am them. I am the good as well as the bad. Everyone is, really. We have to have the bad with the good to make up the ying and the yang, the two sides of the coin, the comedy and the tragedy. I can't be one without the other. Together, they make me whole.

I've been reflecting on my list of failings over the last week. I realized, as I read and reread them, that many of these have been my failings for years. They are nothing new. And most of them probably aren't going to change much. I can turn over a new leaf, try harder to be a better person, give up my vices (and I try I will), but the reality is I am who I am. I've spent nearly 30 years becoming this individual and it's unlikely that the next 30 years is going to yield dramatic change to the basic person I am.

So where to from here? How do I reconcile my failings and faults, know they may not change, but continue to strive to be the person whom I wish to be, a person who is better/kinder/stronger/smarter than I am right now?

Perhaps I just do it. I be the better person, choose the harder path and hope that with each passing day, I'll grow, change, stretch into the woman I know I am.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Own Failings

I belittle others.
I am easily distracted.
I railroad conversations.
I cheat.
I don't care enough about those around me.
I am selfish.
I lie instead of telling the truth.
I have inflated self-esteem.
I turn a blind eye to what I could help.
I steal what does not belong to me.
I have intentionally hurt those whom I love.
I lose patience quickly.
I act like 24 even though I am closer to 34.
I drink too much..
I smoke and lie about it.
I work too much.
I am arrogant.
I make poor decisions.
I am not grateful enough for my blessings.

Seeing my flaws laid out in black and white is rather shocking. Like anyone, I don't like to look at my failures in the harsh light. Can I change these, this list of who I am? Can I become a better person? Or are these failings ingrained in who I am and as much a part of me as my brown eyes and wavy hair? Things I can change, but the truth is there, always underlying, simply suppressed for the time being, the way my brown eyes can become blue with colored contacts and my hair straight with a brush and dryer.

It's not a pleasant thought, that we don't really become better people, that human failure haunts all of us until we die.

But possibly, being honest about one's flaws means being honest about one's humanness. And being honest about humanness raises an awareness of ourselves to work towards being better, to suppressing our innate flaws, to straightening our hair in hopes of fooling everyone around us. Except ourselves.