Good Thoughts

February 20th, 2014

I have a row of text files on the top of my laptop screen. One of them is called Remember. It is full of things I pulled out of a couple relationship articles a few months ago. I was reading it over today, and two of the sentences struck me more than the rest:

You’re not the lies you believe about yourself.

The way you treat yourself is the standard you set for others.

In one of my lists this week, I commented that I’m not very good at taking care of myself because I put others first more often. Now, there is nothing wrong with taking care of other people, but let’s look at that second sentence in this light. If I don’t take care of myself, why should other people? If I don’t believe in myself, why should anyone else? If I don’t care about what I eat, or if I exercise, how can I expect anyone else to? Fortunately, I surround myself with people who care enough, who love me, and who encourage me, by treating me better than I treat myself. But really, I’ve got to love and care for myself if I honestly expect to be able to fully accept and cherish their love and care.

Now, what about that first sentence? I am not the lies I believe about myself.

I’m a writer, a story-teller. I can make up fantastic stories, or horrible ones. And boy, do I.

I currently have two typed pages on my bedroom mirror, full of positive things about myself. They are the truths I remind myself of, to shout down the lies. Lies are very insidious. Wizard’s First Rule – people will believe anything either because they want it to be true, or they are afraid it is true (Terry Goodkind, Sword of Truth series). Lies generally fall into that second category. Things we are afraid are true. Things we were told by others, or worse, told ourselves.

I’m not good enough. I’m not sexy or attractive. I’m not important or I’m less important. I’m too emotional. I’m too quiet. I’m too loud. I’m a freak. I’m too sick. I’m too weak. And on and on the lies do swirl.

A good friend posted to Facebook this week something along the lines of: it’s amazing what you can do when you don’t know you can’t. And isn’t that the truth. If you go into situations without thinking about limitations, you can do amazing things. The first poem I posted on my new page, Other People’s Poetry, is exactly that.

Two more things floating around my head these days. Another friend posted on Fetlife a couple weeks ago, about something her master told her once, and many times since then. “Fear is not useful here.” Fear is what all these lies are about. Fear is what holds us back. And yes, sometimes fear is a useful thing (The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker), but most of the time “fear is not useful here.”

The other thing is “why not?” He’s been saying that lately. Don’t ask Why, ask Why not? It’ll get you a lot farther. Trying new things, letting life take you by the hand, instead of passing you by. Instead of asking why should I do that? Ask yourself, why not?

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