I was watching a show on CNN about addiction when one of the people being interviewed mentioned she had been struggling for days working on an exercise that could help her in her recovery. The exercise she was struggling with was listing ten things she liked about herself.
I didn’t think much about it. But later in the day, I wondered, can I do that? List ten things I like about myself? And I added another caveat; can I do it as quickly as I could write ten things I hate about myself? Because I’ll be honest, I could spit out 20 things in 20 seconds of all the things I hate about myself pretty easily… sad but true!
So, I tried it. I sat down, with the timer on my cell and listed ten things that I liked about myself. I stayed away from physical attributes (only list one if you must) and then, when I was done, I went back and listed why I liked or loved these things about myself.
I have to tell you – a very interesting little learning moment for me. And, it was…well, enlightening to say that least, and kind of fun.
- I love that I have great instincts. I’m hardly ever wrong when I go with my gut. This has to do with people or moments. Most people I read within 30 seconds and I’m rarely wrong about them and although moments may surprise me or scare me, I’m never so thrown I can’t function.
- I love that I’m extremely logical. I bring logic to a lot of things I do – whether it’s in explaining something, building something, creating something. I enjoy learning the order in the chaos of things. The patterns. It intrigues me and really is the best way I function.
- I love that I like to learn. With that comes the fact that once I learn something I don’t forget it if I care about it. Nine times out of ten, if I learned it, I care about it. But being a sponge for anything new is another great quality I love about myself.
- I love that I don’t talk about what I don’t know. Rarely will anyone ever catch me discussing something I know nothing about. I love this about myself because I notice how many people constantly talk about something they don’t know. It happens most often with movies. People will trash a movie and if you ask them if they’d seen it, they’ll say “no”. If it were just movies, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but people do it with politics, economics, worldly events, family issues, medical issues… hey, here’s a free bit of wisdom: An easy way to seem like you’re really smart, is to admit when you don’t know something. Seriously! I’m not any smarter than anyone else, but I don’t talk about what I don’t know. Period. And when I don’t know something, I ask something. Easy.
- I love that I am able to sit with anyone of any race, age, color, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, celebrity, politician, Republican, Democrat, friend of foe… and fit right in. I am comfortable around people and have an innate ability to understand them, talk to them. There is something very “chameleon” about it. But not in a negative way. It’s not that I change who I am EVER. But, that who I am is malleable to the circumstance. I know myself so well, that I can find a way to connect with anyone. It has to do with empathy. Finding a way to connect with another soul on the planet.
- I love that I’m a very optimistic person. It’s not blind optimism, but it’s always being able to find the light in a dark circumstance. When things are bad, I find myself living in hope. Finding that source that will lead me to the next step. Truly optimistic.
- I love that I held onto my “Latina-ness” even though I lost my mom at such an early age and had to force myself to learn more of what it means to be Latina on my own. I know that’s a weird one, because I am Latina, but knowing my back story and how easily it would have been not to learn Spanish, not to understand and fit in with my mother’s culture, would have been an easy thing for this American to do. And sadly, so many of us lose our culture along the way – but what makes America so beautiful is the mix that everyone brings to the table. If I had been born to Scottish parents and lost them at a young age, I would have done the same thing. Clearly it was my way of holding onto a piece of my past, my mom, but it also has other benefits as well.
- Physically, without a doubt, I love my skin color. “..you were kissed by the sun…” my mother used to tell me. And I remember that phrase after the all these years. And even though my hands are older, I have some wrinkles showing, some cellulite here and there, some changes in tone and elasticity… I still see all the beauty that is my cinnamon colored skin. Sometimes I do feel bad about it. I mean, honestly, I was born with it, it’s not like I did anything to have it, but I have to acknowledge it just the same. Loving who WE are, skin color and all, clearly is and was an important part of my strength growing up.
- I love that I’m still a kid most days. This may seem strange or may seem like I’m in denial of some sort, but I’m not. I think one of the worst things I hear from people who are older than me is this “giving up” sentiment. Like somehow turning 40 was the end of life as they knew it. I’ve had people say to me, “We’re different now, we’re so much older now” and “It’s for the new generation.” WTF? Hello! I’m in my 40’s, I’m not dead! Jeez! I hope if I’m blessed to live till I’m 90+ that I’m still walking around workin’ my magic and still dreaming of all the new possibilities! And I think that’s the essence of being like a kid most days. I don’t mean not keeping to your responsibilities, but I mean, keeping in a state of awe, freshness and aliveness. Again, it goes to being a very optimistic person. Being kid-like really just means always living in the moment, in the right here and right now and having the energy to play in it!
- I love that I love people. I do. Even when the worst of us seems to burst through more painfully than I feel need be, I still love that eventually the human spirit figures it out. I love all types of humans — even the ones I don’t understand. Individually, I may hate a few – and I do, and yes, I use the word “hate” purposely. But as a collective, as a species, I am fascinated by how we all function. Wow, I’ve never admitted that out loud (or on paper), but it is true. I love that I love people and always look for the best in us, even when we are showing the worst of who we are.
Hmm… that was kinda fun. And interesting.
Have a sweet day!