Based upon my crummy mood today, I think I need to make an entry into my Beautiful Me Journal. Actually, I’m going to combine two days into one, because I think the topics for these two days go hand in hand. in terms of controlling negative thoughts and feelings. Day 27 addresses the idea of your inner critic. Day 27 is focused on comparisons and refraining from doing those.
The author of the book I’ve been reading suggests we “Quiet Our Critic”, and she is referring to the criticism we have of others. And I think being critical of others is a flaw we all have at varying degrees. It is a facet of mind that notices the differences in people from ourselves. We tend to have ideals of what we think is perfection and somehow, someway it is wrong not to meet that ideal. But I think it’s somewhat worse than that, in the sense of it being a representation of the ways we are critical of ourselves. It reminds me of something I’ve heard Dr. Phil say on his daily television show – “What is it about that person that I don’t like about myself?” Disliking others, I believe is rooted in our own insecurities. Granted, some people take this to a whole different level in the fierceness they feel towards others, but it is totally rooted in their own self-loathing.
I have always felt that there is a little bit of good in the most evil and a little bit of evil in someone good. But the point is that goodness exists – it’s there, even if we have to look for it. I find that when I try and focus on a person’s strengths or good traits. people tend to appreciate the feelings of praise. And I like how the author ends this section by saying, “Teach yourself to see the goodness in people”.
But, I mentioned something else that I see going hand in hand with this topic and that is the idea of comparing yourself to others. Obviously, the author of this book, is asking us to stop comparing ourselves to others and I have found in the past few years, I have done that a lot! She is encouraging this as a means to stop the rivalry we might have towards other women. The author asks us to specifically address a couple of questions in our Beautiful You Journals:
Who are you comparing yourself to and in what way?
This is a tough question to answer. But, one of the things I do is compare myself financially to a multitude of people. For example, I have a sister who is married. She and her husband seem to get to do everything – like taking trips out of the country. It really bothers me that they are both high school drop-outs, did a shitty job raising one of their kids (i.e. he refused to be involved in my sister and his son’s like until my nephew was about 13 years old), and did nothing but party and act like jerks for most of their young adult lives. ME, on the other hand, did what my parents had hoped – I went to college, worked hard my whole life and I am not practically bankrupt and can’t find sustaining and fulfilling work now. The one and only time I had ever been out of the country was for a job that sent me for training. And, deep down, it’s not that I want my sister to be a failure, I just don’t understand why I’m not successful – I feel like a loser, as a result, for making this comparison.
Another way I have compared myself is that I don’t feel particularly attractive – in either a masculine nor feminine way. Part of the reason I began writing about my Sexual and Relationship Development is to work through and gain a better understanding of myself, with respect to my sexual orientation and how I view myself within a relationship – romantic, sexual or otherwise. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I have dabbled in cross-dressing and had pondered if I should have been born a girl instead of a boy. In fact, if any of you had read my previous blog, I put a huge focus on this exploration to the point it scared me and made me feel like I was losing my identity online. But, anytime I wore a dress or any time I put on a skirt, I became intimately and deeply aware how masculine I looked. On the one hand, it seemed to make sense how I felt when I tried, but then I’d look into a mirror and my knuckle-dragging tendencies were quite obvious. I am far too masculine to pull off any sort of feminine look. So, I stopped doing it.
On the other hand, I have never felt fully manly either. I remember when I was a teen and I began to realize I was sexually attracted to girls, I wanted to be more of a man. I wanted to lift weights, I wanted to dress in a way that displayed a masculine confidence and, of course, competition with other guys was a fierce one. It always seemed like there was this need to out-man the next guy, ya know? And, I started to gain interest in career fields, that were traditionally masculine. Although, I don’t buy into the idea that one career or another is best for a man or a woman, but I did tend to move towards careers that had been traditionally male-dominated. But, I never felt strong enough, never felt manly enough, never felt anything remotely masculine enough. And many times, I felt like I forced myself into an image that just wasn’t me. Nothing ever felt right.
Of course, there are some of the physical qualities that I have felt myself comparing myself to: height, weight, gonad size, hair, beauty, face, etc. etc. I know when I was working out constantly and living a healthy lifestyle, I felt more at ease with myself. In fact, everything made sense to me, nothing seemed disordered in my life. I thought I might even be attractive to people. But nothing quite seemed to present itself as an issue to feel bad about until later on in life.
What effect is that comparison having on you? What purpose does that comparison serve?
In a word: detrimental. I think these comparisons have done nothing but make me feel like shit. They make me hate myself and they make me wish I never existed. They are the worst feelings ever. But, I can also recognize, now, that these feelings are nothing more than an attack by Hilda.
But I feel myself on a new mission in life – a mission where Hilda has far less control over me, if any. And I want to keep feeling like I did the other day, even if it’s not yet common, I believe and hope it’ll become my norm again.