Yesterday I was having a conversation with a guy I know fairly well.
He's made some bad choices in his life.
Choices that have put him in harms way and taken away his personal freedoms...
...more than once.
And he said to me, "Yeah, what's the point in trying to be different. I'm just screwed up."
I had to think about that for a second.
It bothered me...because that's not really the person I see when I look at him.
I see a guy who made some bad choices, but who then worked diligently to change his life. I see determination...and humor and kindness and intelligence and thoughtfulness.
But, of course, it doesn't matter what I see...it only matters how he sees himself.
I told him, "Imagine that you were just meeting yourself, what would think of yourself?"
And he said, "Huh?"
I was not deterred. People often say, "Huh?" to me. I'm thinking that's a good thing. Right?
So I continued, "Yeah, so imagine that you were meeting yourself for coffee...after you talked to yourself for awhile what would you think of yourself?"
And he said, "Well...I guess I would think... ... hey, are you trying to trick me?"
I replied, "No, but I'm just curious if you would like yourself."
He thought for a minute or so. His voice was quiet when he finally continued, "Yeah, I think I would."
So I pushed harder. "How could you like yourself? Wouldn't you know all the mistakes you made, and how you screwed up different things in your life?"
"No, I wouldn't feel like that...everybody screws up, and...hey, you tricked me."
But I could tell he was really thinking about our conversation.
On my drive home, I thought about our conversation, too.
And I decided to trying 'meeting myself' in my mind as well.
I tend to be really hard on myself, sometimes. Perhaps the standards I hold myself to are really unrealistic, though, because after I thought it through I realized that I probably would like myself if I didn't know it was me.
Don't say, "Huh?"
You know what I mean.
I will be going through a rough time in my life and I will think, "Girl, you are such a whiner."
Someone will compliment something I do and I will think, "Yeah, yeah, I stink, they are just being polite."
It's silly, really, because I would never be so hyper-critical of anyone else I met.
Why do I choose to focus on the qualities I DON'T like about myself, instead of the qualities I DO like about myself?
I think that I am much, much harder on myself than I would ever be towards anyone else.
Sure, the first time I met me I might think, "Holy Cow! Does this woman ever quit talking?" But I'm sure I would make myself laugh and think and have a conversation!
I suspect I would hug myself goodbye and think to myself on the way home, "That was fun! I hope I get to hang out with her again!"
Just something to think about.
If you have nothing else special to think about today.
It might feel strange, but trying saying to yourself, "Hi me! It's nice to meet you!"
...and see if you like what you find.