I've been working through Rosie Molinary's book "Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance," which consists of 365 simple exercises to help us to accept ourselves as we are.
A couple of weeks ago, the exercise was to ask a loved one to make a resolution for you, the thought being that a loved one may see something you don't (or will focus on something more important than doing 100 sit-ups before bed).
Chebbar took a moment to consider my request, but wasted no time in issuing his edict: "I will not be so hard on myself." It took maybe an hour of my jackassery (read: "joking" that is barely above self-degradation (NOT to be confused with self-deprecation! I honestly didn't realize they were two different things until recently - I thought my nasty-ass self-talk was self-deprecation: I've long operated under the assumption that if I crack the joke about myself first, YOU can't...)) before he amended my resolution to "I will not be so hard on myself AND I will love myself." Oof.
Because of my penchant for being a First Class, Grade-A Asshole to myself - and out loud, so EVERYONE has to hear it, no less - I was understandably daunted by this two-pronged resolution. I tried to figure out how to do these two things that have been a foreign concept to me for 33 years: I figured I'd just stop saying it... out loud.
Last night, during a conversation I will not repeat due to its personal nature *cough*it may have been sex-related*cough*, Chebbar got (understandably) frustrated as I did my usual Chibi-put-down dance. He accused me (and rightly so) of not even trying to stick to his resolution for me. I was completely taken aback - not because of his accusation, but because I had completely forgotten the exercise and subsequent conversation. Ouch. It was not a proud moment for me to admit that to him.
I think it was so easy for me to forget because I didn't take it seriously. I think I didn't take it seriously because a) the self-degradation is something I've done for so long, it's become a part of my identity, and b) deep down, I doubt my ability to stop beating the ever-loving hell out of my perfectionist self every time I "fail." I apologized and promised I would try harder; he told me that he wasn't the person I needed to be apologizing or making promises to.
I am going to work on it, though, starting with a visual reminder:
I've written across the top of every page this week. I'll keep doing it until I don't need the reminder.