Friday, April 29, 2011

Hi me! Nice to meet me!

So...

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.

So...

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?

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.

Seriously.

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.

So...

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.

You know.

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.

post signature

44 comments:

Allie said...

oh my gosh, i was sitting here reading your lil story, very interesting, but apparently i am still tired (new word for really medicated) because i fell asleep while reading this post with a gingersnap cookie tucked perfectly in my mouth ... i will be back later cousin!!!

La Petite Gallery said...

Dear Jenny, Just to let ya know, I love you and think you are awesome.. yvonne

5thsister said...

Oh Jenny...story of my life! I've spent almost 50 years being hypercritical and thinking I was a fraud. I'm so glad to finally be coming to my senses. God made us all, as we are, for a reason and I firmly believe that God makes no mistakes.

And I KNOW you are a beautiful person! Love you!

Wanda..... said...

You know Jenny, in away I believe blogging gives one an avenue to explore oneself and possibly see ourselves as others see us. The meeting of so many different personalities and how they respond has got to influence one's self-view.

Anyway, I really like to hang out here with you!

Jocelyn said...

Thank you....something that I am working on at this very moment!!!!

You are such a wonderful inspiration to all of us!!!!

Wishing you a great day!!!!

Deb said...

why can't we see ourselves as others do??? I tend to see what is wrong with me instead of what's right....great post...

Leslie Morgan said...

Boy, Jenny, this hit me right where I am living right now. Turned me right pensive.

To the statement, " . . . I'm just screwed up . . .", I might add "and that is why I am taking these particular measures every single day for the rest of my life."

Thanks for the brain/soul food today.

Ames said...

Oh Jenny what a wonderful thing you did for this young man and for me too. If I could have a conversation with me, I think I like myself, but I wonder if others do and I also wonder why others don't!

I know I am always giving my self a pep talk, a pulling myself up by the boot straps per say. I know I try to look at others and love others as God does, but I am not God and certainly human and well let's just say I work at being a Godly person 24/7.

So when when people roll their eyes at me and it stings my heart, I have to remind myself that I am a child of God and he made me to be who I am and not what I am. I can work on the what.

You give many of us inspiration. A great post! Thank you dear friend! Hugs~Ames

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Excellent entry.

~♥~

La said...

We should all take an objective look at ourselves from time to time.

Great post Jenny....and I like you too. :o)

Mumsy, Chancy and Co. said...

Sweet Jenny, you are one amazing lady. I would never have thought of anything like you did to say to that young man. Nor would I ever think of meeting myself. You just put me in awe with the things you write and do. If you have never met the sweet Jenny I know then please introduce yourself to her and get to know her...she is amazingly wonderful! Hugs

Deborah said...

So very true Jenny, and I'm sure your words made a difference there, what a wonderful post :o)

Wombat Central said...

What a nice thing you did for your friend. :) I think we're all very critical of ourselves. We see every imperfection in the mirror or in our daily lives. We should all try to see (and be) the person others see! :)

Jo said...

Hey Teacher,great thought provoking post,If we can't forget our mistakes and forgive ourselves,and learn to like ourselves we are being too hard on ourselves,I agree we should find something daily about ourselves that we like,and be positive more, and keep HOPE alive!
NOW!..quit lolly-gaggin' and get to grading our ALPHABE THURSDAY!,teehee.
hugs all around
~Jo
LazyonLoblolly

Terra said...

What a neat thought process. Self criticism can certainly be one of our downfalls...I am guilty. But I am not ready to meet me.

Terra said...

What a neat thought process. Self criticism can certainly be one of our downfalls...I am guilty. But I am not ready to meet me.

taylorsoutback said...

Excellent - just excellent!

Jeanie said...

From the comments it seems like many of us are very hard on ourselves. That being the case, you have passed along some very good advice today.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

It would be interesting to know what the people closest to us think about us...

hmmmm...probably wise not to ask!

xxoo,

RMW

NatureGirl said...

I will give it a try, but I am not so sure...

Red Couch Recipes said...

Very intriguing post Jenny. Joni

Mama Zen said...

What a great question! I'm going to have to think about this.

Unprocessed1 said...

Amen, sista!

Donnie said...

sometimes I have to remind myself that God does not make mistakes and I'm who He wants me to be...almost..We are all just works in progress. Lovely post.

Juniper said...

Hey, that is a good idea.. I might give it a try.

Drama Queen said...

Very wise words of wisdom, Oh Zen Master. Definitely some much-needed food for thought on this beautiful Friday. :)

Theresa said...

What a sweet and encouraging post! I bet you really made a difference in this young man's life!

I am happy to meet me, I am happy to spend time with me, heck... I love me:)

AND I love you too! Thanks for my sweet surprise in the mail at Easter! HUGS!

Sue said...

We do need to be good friends to ourselves, don't we?

=)

PS. I like BOTH of us!

upinthecosmos said...

Good advice, something I need to do myself! I'm really shy though;-) LOL...

Ms. A said...

I've met me and don't like me and have no plans to maintain contact.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a great idea! I want to do this activity this weekend!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Jenny this is a great post! I think we (ie ME) are much harder on ourselves then on others we meet. This made me think (not easy on a day I got up to watch the Royal Wedding and so I'm sleep deprived) but I would like myself if I met me. Oh I think I need a nap now, that wore out my brain. hugs, Linda

Keri said...

Oh, you've got my tired little brain working now! I know I'm much harder on myself! I say to myself, "Gee I look bad today and haven't done anything important". Then someone will tell me how great I look and that they can't believe I do so much ever day. Oh, right. I forgot.

Have a good weekend Jenny!

H said...

I, too, tend to be very critical of myself. I often get hung up on things which wouldn't phase me at all if it were someone else, but you are quite right; I should focus on all of the positives and achievements and good qualities.

What you did for that young man (who I think might be the one you go to visit who you told me about once before???) was wonderful. I hope he continues to think about it and to rediscover himself completely.

BTW - From what I have seen on here, I happen to like you very much :)

cj Schlottman said...

Jenny,

Once again, you have climbed into my head and spilled my brains all over the place. At 63, I am still my own worst critic. I have to monitor my self-talk to keep myself from calling me names.

You have inspired me to take a closer look at myself - through the eyes of someone else.

Thanks..........cj

Holly said...

I was nodding my head as I read along engrossed in the seriousness of the message and then I came to the picture of the woman looking into the mirror and cracked up laughing. Even when you are serious you can't keep a straight face. It's what I love about you. Always that twinkle in your eye that brightens our world. I know you aren't that wrinkled.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

These were very deep thoughts, Jenny! I think unfortunately some have poor self image because they did not get much encouragement or positive feedback growing up. It's hard to lose the "loser" image when that is all you hear your whole life. I hope the man you spoke with today will take your words to heart. I know that I had to do a lot of work on myself over the years!

I wanted to thank you for the surprise Valspar paint sample kit! It came while I was traveling and my daughter told me how it was addressed and we wondered how they knew I was a new grandma. I finally figured it out when I saw your name in the packing slip....lol! I will have to paint a memory box for my grandson with the pretty blue paint. Thanks again!

Im still trying to catch up after back to back trips. Hopefully soon!

Pat Tillett said...

Huh?
Just kidding!
What a great post Jenny! I was probably very close to being the same as the guy you were talking to. It's so hard to forgive ourselves, because we know everything we've done and how we think about things. I wonder why it is that we can forgive what others do much easier than we can forgive ourselves?
Loved this post...

noexcuses said...

Oh my goodness! This post is amazing! I couldn't take my eyes off the page, not even for Rob Lowe!

What great words of wisdom. I think there are many of us who feel this way about ourselves! You have ignited a fire under me! Now, I just have to make the time to write about it.

Thank you so much for doing what you do so well!

jabblog said...

Wise words, Jenny! You certainly made me think but I'm still not sure I'd like me if I met me . . .

Vicki aka Jake said...

Knock knock...

silence

Guess nobody's home.

I'll have to try me later.....

Pixie said...

You're awesome! And your way of thinking is even more awesome!

Busy Bee Suz said...

YOU have a very good point here Jenny. We are usually too hard on ourselves...even when no one else is.
I am going to meet me; maybe today. :)

Willoughby said...

Wonderful post, very deep and thought provoking.

I'm not sure what I would think of myself. I have so many issues...