I love Elephant Journal, and I came across this article which colossally spoke to me. The author wrote her list of fourteen things she used to do but doesn’t do anymore. Well La-di-da. Kidding. Good for her.
I love this list and would love to say I don’t do any of these things anymore. The only problem? I do almost all of them. Daily. Ugh. How is this possible? I’m thirty-five years old, I want to be a better person, and I have been working for years to better myself. So why do I still do most of these things? It’s simple really. I suck. Or better yet, I’m human.
1. Wake up and look at Facebook right away.
First of all, I am the worst at waking up and checking Facebook right away. I want to see if I have any messages from friends or comments on my brilliant or plenty of not-so-brilliant posts. It’s become almost an obsession. I will say that I have been trying to spend less time on Facebook when my family is around. If they aren’t, all bets are off.
2. Rush around scrambling for time.
Next, scrambling for time is not a big problem for me. I hate being late, and I hate having people wait on me. My son and husband are not quite so concerned as I am, so we do mess up sometimes. But meh. Not a big deal.
3. Criticize or judge others.
Now. Criticizing and judging others is a biggie. I like to consider myself very open-minded and non-judgmental, but the truth is there is always going to be someone I disagree with. I will question their decisions and think they are totally wrong. Eek. I can’t help it. But what I can work on, and I’m doing so, is shutting my freaking mouth. That is major. If I shut my mouth and keep my thoughts to myself, I may just learn to stop feeling that way all together. If not, at least I haven’t hurt my family’s or friend’s feelings. It would be great if we could all get along and agree to disagree, but that is probably not going to happen. What I need to do is try to see things from the other side. Try to put myself in their shoes and find some understanding and compassion for those I just can’t seem to agree with.
Gossip. Oh gossip. As much as this is a bad habit, I love every bit of it. This is one that I cannot get enough of. Who doesn’t love a good piece of juicy gossip about someone you know but don’t like very much? I do, I do! But it sure hurts when I hear about gossip going around about me. And there’s plenty of it. Gossip doesn’t sound like it’s that bad, but it is truly hurtful. This is one that I’m going to have to work very hard on.
5. Speak harshly about myself.
Here’s another big one. I am my biggest critic. I see all of my faults, and I magnify them a thousand fold. This is so detrimental to my own well-being. I know this. Yet I can’t seem to stop. Most days I hate myself. Sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed. But you know what? No one cares about the things I see wrong with myself. No one. I was bullied for my weight when I was younger, and it gave me some pretty big hang-ups. Up until my mid-twenties, I was sure everyone was staring at me everywhere I went. I visualized every single person holding up their score cards like a thought bubble above their heads. It drove me crazy. It kept me from trying many new things for fear of being made fun of and laughed at. I finally realized no one is watching. No one cares. And even if they do, their opinions don’t mean anything to me. I have to tell myself that I am wonderful just the way I am. Repeat after me: “You is kind, you is smart, you is important”or something like that. Who cares about the rest?
6. Eat animals and their by-products.
Done. Well mostly. I haven’t gone vegan yet so I guess I can’t officially claim that. For now, being a vegetarian surrounded by meat-lovers is enough for me. If this doesn’t concern you, move on to the next one. I really don’t care if you eat meat or not. That’s my decision. Not yours. I’m okay with that.
7. Watch TV, read or listen to the news.
Hahahahahahaha! Sigh. This will never be on my list of things I don’t do anymore. Never. But it is worth a mention that too much of any of this can be bad for you. Get out and spend some quality time with your loved ones. It’s okay to put down your book or turn off Netflix and go outside and get some fresh air. Too much TV will rot your brain and such…
8. Swear as much.
This is a new one for me. I used to never swear. Ever. It was a big thing for me, and I considered myself better than those around me who did swear. Yikes. Sorry, everybody. Now I find it terribly freeing. Some days, there is nothing better than yelling something totally inappropriate albeit terribly satisfying. It can become a nasty habit though. Swearing in front of kids is not cool. Don’t do it. Apologize if you do. It’s simple.
9. Emotional eating and stuffing myself with food until I am sick and depressed.
Um yeah. Moving on…
10. Request and require the approval to others.
Ah yes. Needing the approval of others. I tell myself I don’t, but secretly I do. I have always wanted the admiration of others all while pretending that I don’t. Turning thirty changed that for the most part. I finally started my own little family, and everyone else’s opinions stopped seeming so important. I still need that approval sometimes, but it’s not as important anymore.
11. Compare myself to others.
This only leads to heartache. There is no point in comparing myself to others. Everyone has problems. Everyone has things they don’t like about themselves. I need to just live my life and try to be the best me I can be. That’s it.
12. Pretend to be something I am not.
This has been a problem for a long time, but I have been doing my best to try to face it. I have recently “come out” as being athiest in my small almost completely Christian world. It has been hard. It has hurt people I love. It has also been one of the best decisions I have made. I have to be me. I can’t possibly be you. I won’t try anymore.
13. Interrupt others while they are speaking either externally or interna-
I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. I am terrible at this. I know it. I am trying to fix it.
14. Lie to myself.
This goes back to number twelve. No more lying. To myself or to others. Never again.
I hope this list has inspired you. It has definitely inspired me.